Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Kris Davis: Rye Eclipse

Kris Davis’ quartet (tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, bassist Eivind Opsvik, drummer Jeff Davis) plays music that is utterly impossible to anticipate yet contains its own discipline. It lives somewhere between free improvisation and modern composed chamber music.

Some of Davis’ concepts are specific, like “Prairie Eyes,” a long, passionate Malaby rise and fall over Davis’ obsessive piano figure. Some are diverse, like “Black Tunnel,” a stuttering, oscillating message stated like contrapuntal Morse code by piano and saxophone, which becomes two saxophone crises separated by piano skitterings. Then a single piano note becomes a stream and then raging rapids. Meanwhile Opsvik’s bass and Jeff Davis’ drums heave and lurch. Two minutes into “Wayne Oskar,” Davis’ fidgeting, zigzagging piano is suddenly revealed to also contain Malaby’s saxophone expletives, in rough unison. What you thought was random chaos turns out to be form.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published