95

Kris Davis: The Slightest Shift

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Kris Davis: The Slightest Shift If Canadian pianist Kris Davis' auspicious debut, Life Span (FSNT, 2004), was an indication of her progressive tendencies, then The Slightest Shift reinforces those forward-thinking ideas in resounding and surprising ways. Whereas her debut was colored with expansive lyricism and melodic tapestries, the new recording is a bolder statement of Davis' compositional prowess, and the music now involves more abstract, condensed and freer modes.

With the help of some seriously open-minded musicians—including drummer Jeff Davis, bassist Eivind Opsvik and the prolific sax stylist Tony Malaby—the compositions accentuate a group presence, rather than amounting to singular performances. Each individual voice is channeled into a convergent path. The arrangements are similar to conversations whose content is equally shared by every participant. Sometimes they are turbulent, other times harmonious, but they're always interesting; the musicians' voices are individually and collectively vivid.

The opening "Bloodwine is a good indicator of this intricate collaboration, with everything from unison lines to dramatic tempo shifts, heavy swing and layered solos. Davis delivers an intense and convulsive solo on "Once that opens up a clear path for Malaby's sonorous tenor; the rhythm section adds precision to the organized cacophony. But harmony also arises in the midst of these sometimes turbulent waters, as on the poignant "Jack's Song, where Davis plays with a gentle touch.

Progressive listeners can take their pick from the avant gardism of "And Then I Said..., the surrealism of "Morning Stretches, and the slow, winding dance of "Twice Escaped, which builds in intensity. Davis has shifted her ideas, and this slightest of adjustments has resulted in an intelligent, captivating recording that's well beyond the norm.


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

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Sunrain" CD/LP/Track Review Sunrain
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 3, 2016
Read "Wisdom Of Elders" CD/LP/Track Review Wisdom Of Elders
by James Nadal
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "Carolina" CD/LP/Track Review Carolina
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 5, 2016
Read "Expansions: The Puzzle" CD/LP/Track Review Expansions: The Puzzle
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 16, 2016
Read "Flowers" CD/LP/Track Review Flowers
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "Until Your Throat Is Dry" CD/LP/Track Review Until Your Throat Is Dry
by John Sharpe
Published: September 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!