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BEST OF / YEAR END

John Sharpe's Best Releases Of 2017

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Here are ten new releases and two partial reissues, reviewed on All About Jazz, which stood out among the 200 or so discs that I heard this year. Sylvie Courvoisier / Mary HalvorsonCrop Circles (Relative Pitch Records) Over the last fifteen years or more, pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and guitarist Mary Halvorson have become two of the outstanding proponents on their instruments and consequently stalwarts of the NYC scene. On Crop Circles they present ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eric Revis: Sing Me Some Cry

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Away from his tenure with Branford Marsalis, bassist Eric Revis continues in the adventurous vein established by his previous dates on the Clean Feed imprint. His latest group if anything operates even more on the edge. With the return of reedman Ken Vandermark into the fold, Revis has a unit to die for. The Chicago-based hornman joins pianist Kris Davis, already a fixture on Revis' trio sessions City Of Asylum (2013) and Crowded Solitudes (2016), and drummer Chad Taylor, who ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eric Revis: Sing Me Some Cry

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Only a bassist like Eric Revis with a background in the origins of jazz (that is, New Orleans), hardcore, funk, and post-bop can pull off such a big project as Sing Me Some Cry. Not big as in impenetrable, but circus tent big--assimilating all his experiences. From Betty Carter and Lionel Hampton to his long-standing tenure in Branford Marsalis' Quartet, and in collaboration with JD Allen and Orrin Evans, he has excelled in and inventoried multiple jazz methodologies alongside the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eric Revis Trio: Crowded Solitudes

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In following his own star, bassist Eric Revis continues to explore terrain further off the charts than erstwhile employers Branford Marsalis, Steve Coleman and Kurt Rosenwinkel. For the sequel to the acclaimed City of Asylum (Clean Feed, 2013), Revis retains Kris Davis on piano but replaces Andrew Cyrille with Gerald Cleaver in the drum chair. Revis mixes three group improvs with compositions from his own pen and that of others, but regardless of authorship, the execution remains an egalitarian affair ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eric Revis Trio: Crowded Solitudes

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Listening to a recording, one can assume, as opposed to attending a performance, involves just one of your five senses, hearing. The concert has of course sight, but something about Eric Revis' Crowded Solitudes suggests other senses to consider. This trio recording follows City Of Asylum (Clean Feed, 2013). Revis has retained pianist Kris Davis, but Gerald Cleaver replaces Andrew Cyrille at the drum chair. Revis, the longtime bassist for Branford Marsalis, can also be heard on the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Aruan Ortiz Trio with Eric Revis and Gerald Cleaver: Hidden Voices

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Cuban born pianist and composer Aruán Ortiz is just now starting to broaden his long-overdue recognition after two decades as a leader or collaborator. More than ten years prior to his new trio release, Hidden Voices, he had drawn favorable comparisons to Chick Corea and Ornette Coleman with Aruán Ortiz Trio Vol. 1 (Pimienta Records, 2004). That outing featured an entirely different group but clearly set the groundwork for Ortiz' unique approach to creating and executing forward-looking music.

INTERVIEWS

Eric Revis: Trajectory From The Tradition

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The development of an individual voice on the contrabass is important to Eric Revis, one of the strongest players on the scene. His power and musicianship has endeared him to some of the finer musicians, and bands, in jazz. But Revis isn't content to let things lie there. Not that he has to be out front flexing his considerable bass muscles. That's not the point. Through bands that he forms, his compositions, his collaborations, he wants to grow ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eric Revis: Eric Revis: In Memory Of Things Yet Seen

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Although the title to bassist Eric Revis' quartet offering appears to pay homage to some of the early AACM documents (think pianist Muhal Richard Abrams' unaccompanied manifesto Things To Come From Those Now Gone (Delmark, 1975)), the actuality is a different animal entirely. Having rung the changes since the acclaimed City of Asylum, Revis' outfit acts primarily as a vehicle for exploring imaginative charts drawn from across the band, along with two free jazz classics and two group inventions, this ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eric Revis Quartet: In Memory Of Things Yet Seen

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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 ...