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).
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