Bassist Eric Revis has performed and recorded with saxophonist Branford Marsalis' bands since 1997, and is a first-call session artist. Marsalis appears on two tracks for the bassist's third solo date on the progressive Portugal-based label, Clean Feed Records. The core quintet features a formidable frontline with tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry and alto saxophonist Darius Jones. And diversity is a key driver during a host of jazz-centric formats, constructed on scrappy maneuvers; contrapuntal statements, quirky rhythmic jaunts, and ballsy, hard-hitting grooves. The album also contains pieces that are modeled with swarming, episodic free style dialogues, perky bop fabrications and exploratory ruminations.
Revis introduces Sun Ra's "The Shadow World" with a complex bass passage that also triggers a degree of anticipation of how the piece will develop. Hence, the saxophonists enter into the picture with compact unison phrasings, elevating the festivities to a soul-stirring pitch and leaving space in between choruses atop Chad Taylor's blustery drumming. Hence, a torrential downpour ensues, and a sense of urgency takes center stage via the soloists spiraling discourses amid seething crescendos. Moreover, the rhythm section operates at a feverish pace, leading to a red-hot apogee. Ultimately, Revis skillfully aligns prominent artistic values into a contrasting set of compositions, perhaps highlighting his worldly experiences as a consummate jazz musician whose visionary outlook comes to fruition once again.
Personnel: Eric Revis: bass; Chad Taylor: drums; Bill McHenry: tenor saxophone;
Darius Jones: alto saxophone; Branford Marsalis: saxophone (5, 11).
Rhythm Abstraction: Azure is the first volume of new compositions created as a follow up to 2018’s
release Rhythm Kaleidoscope. As with that release, Brock Avery improvised drum and percussion
solos. Frank Macchia then composed music for woodwinds and orchestra to Brock’s creations. Azure
is the first of three extended play albums of 6-7 compositions which will be released starting in
January and followed up in April and July. In Azure we have a created a group of pieces that continue
our quest for honoring the art of improvisation with a “stream-of-consciousness” sense of
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