336

Kris Davis: Good Citizen

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
It's just a coincidence that pianist Kris Davis has had three stunning trio recordings released in 2010. There are the two on Clean Feed Records—Paradoxial Frog, a brilliant joint collaboration with drummer Tyshawn Sorey and saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock; and Three by the SKM trio, with Davis joined by saxophonist Stephen Gauci and bassist Michael Bisio. But it's no coincidence that Davis' percussive style and edgy invention is also present in Good Citizens, another clear visage of her abilities as a leader and collaborator.

Good Citizen is anything but the law-abiding personage of the typical jazz trio release. No cloying ballads or rehashed standards to be found. As in Davis' previous projects as a leader on Fresh Sound Records—Rye Eclipse (2008) and The Slightest Shift (2006)—she continues the arduous pursuit of thought-provoking composition and improvisation. Here, she finds two like-minded cohorts in drummer Tom Rainey and bassist John Hébert, both well-known purveyors of boundary-pushing music.

This recording is one of the most out-front displays of Davis' playing. Her piano dances from skittering flights to frenzied syncopations within the title track's blistering tempo. "Where Does The Tunnel Go" is an unforgettable jaunt with a punctuating pop hook propelled by snappy beats and a thundering foundation. "Desert Prayer" is yet another striking statement of the pianist's writing and playing: the cerebral solo piano intro; the deep pocketed mid-tempo groove; and the piano's minimalism, all powerful components that work together in harmony.

Hebert and Rainey are in typical form. They provide texture and tone to the pensive "Skinner Box" and sensational swing-time in "B Side." With examples such as the varying contrasts between "KTJ 1"'s dark tint and "KTJ 2"'s soaring free flight, or Rainey's drums brilliantly mimicking Davis' keys in "Human Condition" with colorful taps and shuffles, the music continually delivers the unexpected. Good Citizen is yet another top notch release from a pianist/composer cut from the same cloth as Myra Melford and Geri Allen.

Track Listing: Good Citizen; Where Does That Tunnel Go; Desert Prayers; Sinking Orchid; Recession Special; Skinner box; B Side; KTJ 1; Human Condition; KTJ 2; The Iron Spider.

Personnel: Kris Davis: piano; Tim Rainey: drums; John Hebert: bass.

Title: Good Citizen | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Tipico" CD/LP/Track Review Tipico
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "The Beast" CD/LP/Track Review The Beast
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Rímur" CD/LP/Track Review Rímur
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 15, 2017
Read "Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)" CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Thank You For Coming To Life" CD/LP/Track Review Thank You For Coming To Life
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 2, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.