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Eric Revis: City of Asylum

What makes improvised music such a unique art is that each piece can be created only by those people, there, in that moment. City of Asylum, the splendid new record from bassist Eric Revis, pianist Kris Davis and drummer Andrew Cyrille, could have been made only by those three musicians, at New York’s Samurai Hotel, on April 12, 2012. Different musicians, a different location, a different day-everything would have come out different.

That City of Asylum works so wonderfully is a testament to Revis’ brilliant idea of gathering such disparate players. (Revis, best known for his work in Branford Marsalis’ quartet, enjoys doing this; his previous record for Clean Feed featured pianist Jason Moran, saxophonist Ken Vandermark and drummer Nasheet Waits.) Cyrille and Davis are at opposite ends of their careers, Cyrille being famous for working with pianist Cecil Taylor in the 1960s, Davis being touted as one of the Downtown scene’s most promising up-and-comers.

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