Label/Year: Clean Feed, 2017
Lineup – Ken Vandermark: tenor saxophone and clarinet; Kris Davis: piano; Eric Revis: bass; Chad Taylor: drums.
Eric Revis is an American double bassist whose understanding of contemporary music and intoxicating touch make him one of the most coveted voices within the jazz genre.
Containing a new set of original compositions, Sing Me Some Cry is an excellent follow-up to last year’s critically acclaimed Crowded Solitudes, which featured Kris Davis on piano and Gerald Cleaver on drums. For the latest album, Revis forms a pliable rhythm section with Chad Taylor, who occupies the drummer’s chair, and Kris Davies, whose pianistic twists and whirls are perfectly adequate to his style. Rounding out the group is the revolutionary multi-reedist Ken Vandermark, a valuable element who doesn't refrain from stirring up fire whenever necessary.
They set about the adventure with the title track, an experimental commitment that precipitates quasi-humanized, eerie weeps in parallel with Revis’ bass movements and Taylor's subdued percussion. Little by little, Davies and Vandermark join them; the former with piano string combs, later turned into left-hand thunders and right-hand persistent notes, and the latter with squiggles delivered in the form of high-pitch remarks.
An interesting tune, mostly because of the diversity of its well-arranged passages, is Vandermark’s “Good Company”, which starts with an invigorating wet African pulse and then shifts into a playful swing with accentuated Latin vibes before receiving Davies’ enthusiastic groovy takes. When Vandermark picks up, the swing is hardened and he answers to the call with fierce discursive stamina, often poked by Davies’ mesmerizing comping.
Besides the saxophonist, both drummer and pianist contribute to the recording with one composition each. The former clocks his “Obliongo” with a complex tempo while the latter granted “Rye Eclipse”, an old composition that advances confidently after a ritualistic introductory section painted with regular cymbal splashes, insistent block chords, scuffed up bowed bass, and saxophone furious growls and clamors. The dance ends up in a rough-and-tumble fervency.
The spirited rendition of “Rumples”, composed by the guitarist Adam Rogers, is surprisingly tidier, less funky, and more ‘hang-loose’ than the original included in Chris Potter’s 2009 album Ultrahang.
Revis’ pieces are both curious and distinct in its forms, surroundings, and structures. If “PT44” acquires an urban vibrancy through cyclic harmonic sequences and sturdy bass-drums underpinnings, “Solstice…The Girls” brings soft exotic sounds shaped by silky clarinet drop-offs, smothered piano notes, mallet strikes, and a minimalist bass drive. Conversely, “Drunkard’s Lullaby” features Vandermark’s vehement appeals over a questioning bass ostinato that becomes transiently swinging in certain sections. Still singular, the closing tune, “Glyph”, provides for literate balladry.
Filled with dynamic sparks and intriguing movements, this album is also a showcase for collective roams and extemporaneous individualities. The members of Eric Revis quartet confirm their virtuosity in this sort of creative deconstructionism.
02 – Good Company ► 03 – PT 44 ► 07 – Rumples