All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

249

Kris Davis: Rye Eclipse

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
On Rye Eclipse, pianist Kris Davis' quartet ventures deeper into the formidable abstractions documented on their previous release, The Slightest Shift (Fresh Sound, 2007). Featuring her husband, drummer Jeff Davis, omnipresent bassist Eivind Opsvik and Downtown saxophone phenomenon Tony Malaby, this is the Brooklyn-based pianist's second recording with her reliable quartet and the third for the esteemed indie label Fresh Sound New Talent.

Conservatory trained in her native Canada, the current New York City resident has quickly established herself as a gifted writer and improviser. Davis demonstrates a flair for composing works that seamlessly integrate the turbulent angularity inherent in free jazz with the formal austerity of chamber music.

Davis writes intricate, multi-segmented tunes that weave collective improvisation into knotty unison themes. Her inventive arrangements disregard conventional notions of soloist and accompanist, requiring each member of the quartet to provide melodic, harmonic and rhythmic support. Numerous shifts in tempo, tone and color blur the line between the written and improvised.

An equitable fusion of stylistic precedents, Davis' cerebral aesthetic embraces the neo-classical experimentation of Jimmy Giuffre and Wayne Shorter, the pensive lyricism of Paul Bley and Keith Jarrett and the stark modernism of Gyorgy Ligeti and Alexander Scriabin.

The epic title track opens the album; a labyrinthine structure that pitches tempestuous fanfares against ghostly silhouettes and halting, deconstructed swing. Employing multiple strategies throughout its duration, the piece demonstrates the quartet's studied accord, culminating in a roiling militaristic march that ebbs and flows with collective fervor.

Davis introduces the Monkish "Wayne Oscar" alone, unfurling rivulets of contrapuntal ingenuity with spry euphony. Gradually joined by her rhythm section, she gracefully navigates a loping, abstruse pulse before Malaby enters, amplifying the mood with his brawny tenor.

"Prairie Eyes" features Davis' penchant for brooding lyricism, her brisk minimalist patterns providing a tense undercurrent for the rhythm section's carefree rubato swing and Malaby's plangent commentary.

Exploring extreme dynamics, "Empty Beehive" revels in textural abstraction, unveiling spectral harmonics, whispery refrains and unsettling atmospherics. In contrast, "Black Tunnel" features the quartet at their most vivacious. Careening through a propulsive staccato theme, they sporadically interrupt their anthemic onslaught with brief passages of spare reflection.

Elegantly balancing magnanimous collective expression with challenging pre-written forms, Rye Eclipse is a stellar example of creative improvised music.


Track Listing: Rye Eclipse; Wayne Oscar; Prairie Eyes; Minnow Bucket; Empty Beehive; Samuro; Black Tunnel; Rye Resurrected.

Personnel: Kris Davis: piano; Tony Malaby: tenor saxophone; Eivind Opsvik: bass; Jeff Davis: drums.

Title: Rye Eclipse | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Duopoly

Duopoly

Pyroclastic Records
2016

buy
Save Your Breath

Save Your Breath

Clean Feed Records
2015

buy
Massive Threads

Massive Threads

Thirsty Ear Recordings
2013

buy
Capricorn Climber

Capricorn Climber

Clean Feed Records
2013

buy
 

Aeriol Piano

Clean Feed Records
2012

buy
 

Aeriol Piano

Clean Feed
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Super Mood CD/LP/Track Review
Super Mood
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Beheaded Totem CD/LP/Track Review
Beheaded Totem
by James Fleming
Published: September 24, 2018
Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read "Enemy" CD/LP/Track Review Enemy
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 7, 2018
Read "Lighthouse" CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "The Spirit Of Trane" CD/LP/Track Review The Spirit Of Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 4, 2017
Read "Dormancy" CD/LP/Track Review Dormancy
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 17, 2018
Read "Cinema" CD/LP/Track Review Cinema
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 15, 2018
Read "Sketches of American Music" CD/LP/Track Review Sketches of American Music
by Doug Collette
Published: June 23, 2018