All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

344

Kris Davis: The Slightest Shift

Brian P. Lonergan By
Published:
Sign in to view read count
Kris Davis: The Slightest Shift The adjective that comes to mind again and again when listening to this quartet recording by pianist and composer Kris Davis is "refreshing. Much of The Slightest Shift sounds close to free improvisation, but there is also a recurring sense that one is listening to a modern chamber music ensemble. And the initial impression of at times decentralized free play belies a group working in close coordination within definite compositional frameworks. Along with Davis, Tony Malaby (tenor saxophone), Eivind Opsvik (bass) and the bandleader's husband, Jeff Davis (drums), make up the quartet.

The Slightest Shift is also a reminder that improvisation which pushes at the boundaries of form and tonality needs not have a furious and aggressive edge. Davis' compositions and her group's improvisation—it's often hard to distinguish here—are sometimes heated but often contemplative and deliberate. And as animated as the music gets, as on "Once, there remains a quality of peacefulness, rather than confrontation.

The opening "Bloodwine is the first of several standout tracks. Its halting beginning gives way to a slow, swaying two-chord progression with a wide-ranging Malaby solo and Davis building increasingly tempestuous and dark chords beneath him. "Morning Stretches is gentle and spare with, as the title suggests, a preparatory feel. It segues into the album's compositional highlight, the gorgeous "Jack's Song. Similarly, "Twice Escaped begins sparely, becomes increasingly layered and arrives at a solo piano coda that segues directly into the rhythmically complex and kinetic title track.


Track Listing: Bloodwine; And Then I Said...; Once; 35; Morning Stretches; Jack's Song; Twice Escaped; The Slightest Shift.

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

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
Read more articles
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
[no cover]
Aeriol Piano
Clean Feed
2011
buy
Paradoxical Frog
Paradoxical Frog
Clean Feed Records
2010
buy
Good Citizen
Good Citizen
Fresh Sound New Talent
2010
buy

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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