Eric Revis has multiple jazz personalities. One of the most in-demand bassists, he swings hard when he plays in Branford Marsalis’ quartet and swings elegantly when he backs the likes of Kurt Rosenwinkel. But through a series of albums on the Clean Feed label, he has also developed into one of the most creative makers of modern improvised music. In Sing Me Some Cry he has another masterful album, this time with three avant-garde A-listers: saxophonist Ken Vandermark, pianist Kris Davis and drummer Chad Taylor.
Stylistically, Sing Me Some Cry runs the gamut of free (or free-ish) jazz. The title track contains no structure, just four musicians rummaging around and surprising themselves with what they dig up. (It’s the only composition out of nine that is credited to all of them.) “Good Company,” Vandermark’s one contribution, is a muscular number that feels like the halfway point between his Vandermark 5 and Marsalis’ quartet. Davis and Taylor each contribute a tune, Revis offers four and one is a cover of guitarist Adam Rogers’ funky “Rumples.” These four musicians have spent time honing their individual voices, but they fit together so well. That is as apparent on the pretty ballad “Glyph” and the pointillistic “Solstice…. The Girls (for Max & XiXi)” as it is on “Rye Eclipse,” which touts the brute force of a band that means business.