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Rye Eclipse by Kris Davis

The music from Rye Eclipse was premiered by pianist Kris Davis and her quartet during a summer 2007 tour of Canadian jazz festivals. The Canadian-born, Brooklyn-based musician presents seven rather minimalist pieces with plenty of wide-open space for free improv. Helping to breathe life into Davis' vision is saxophonist Tony Malaby, bassist Eivind Opsvik and drummer Jeff Davis.

The lengthy title track winds its way through an array of sonic platters. The repetitive piano figures provide a cushy launch for Malaby's free-wheeling blasts. The looping piano foundation returns on "Prairie Eyes," with drummer Davis building layer upon layer of tension.

Tracks like "Wayne Oskar" and "Minnow Bucket" find Davis ripping through the keyboard with an aggressive urgency, utilizing astonishing technique with an open sense of adventure. Opsvik's scratchy arco work creates an eerie effect through the dark-colored "Empty Beehive."

The experimental, yet serene nature of "Samuro" contrasts nicely with the edginess of the more pre-conceived "Black Tunnel," a hard-hitting, robust piece featuring the disc's most inspired solos from Malaby and Davis. "Rye Revisited" brings the session to a full-circle close, recapping the somber aspects of the opening track.

The disc's relatively short length, clocking in around forty-five minutes, leaves one wanting more from this ambitious ensemble.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Kris Davis
  • CD Title: Rye Eclipse
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent
  • Rating: Four Stars
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