Kris Davis: piano; Eric Revis: double bass; Gerald Cleaver: drums.
Eric Revis is an unpredictable bassist who played with Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Branford Marsalis, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and recently with the pianist Aruan Ortiz and the trumpeter Avishai Cohen.
In “Crowded Solitudes”, his fifth album, he leads a fantastic trio composed of the hyper-creative pianist Kris Davis and the focused drummer Gerald Cleaver.
The album opens with “Arcane 17”, a tune where there’s a lot going on. We can indulge in the non-linear yet steady groove lay down by Revis while Cleaver threatens to catch fire on several occasions. Davis bestows her strong influence, counterpointing with sobs and chords imbued in tension.
In “Bontah”, the voice of an infant, presumably Revis’ son, can be heard and the rhythmic cadence of his words was the inspiration for this spellbinding, motivic tune.
A meek atmosphere envelops Paul Motian’s “Victoria”. It starts with a bass intro and showcases Cleaver’s brushwork while Davis flourishes with sparse touches that never feel gratuitous.
The presence of a swinging bass is quite surprising on “D.O.C.”, but actually feels good. Davis constructs nice melodies based on motifs to be deconstructed afterward with a soulful imagination. Right after Greg Osby’s hectic “Vertical Hold”, the album closes with “Anamnesis Pt.1 and Pt.2” whose movements are very distinguishable, driving us from a bucolic contemplation to a quasi-military agitation. This is an eminent album that makes us ask for more.
01 – Arcane 17 ► 02 – Bontah ► 05 – D.O.C.