A nice article written by David Alder about my history and music can be found in the September issue of Jazztimes. See Article
I am honored to present a series of projects I am involved in as well as my own projects at the Stone between June 24-29th.
June 24 – 8pm, the collective quartet LARK with Ralph Alessi, Tom Rainey, Ingrid Laubrock and Kris Davis and 10pm Tom Rainey’s Obbligato featuring Ralph Alessi, Ingrid Laubrock, Drew Gress, Kris Davis and Tom Rainey.
June 25 – 8pm Kermit Driscoll Trio with Kris Davis, Kermit Driscoll and Jared Shoenig. 10pm Kris Davis SOLO
June 26 – 8pm Ingrid Laubrock’s Anti-house with Mary Halvorson, Ingrid Laubrock, Kris Davis, John Hebert and Tom Rainey. 10pm Ingrid Laubrock’s Octet CD release
June 27 – 8 and 10om Infrasound revised with Andrew Bishop and Ben Goldberg, Nate Radley, Kris Davis and Ches Smith.
June 28 – 8 and 10pm Paradoxical Frog with Ingrid Laubrock, Kris Davis and Tyshawn Sorey
June 29 – 8pm Death Rattle with Mary Halvorson, Ingrid Laubrock and Kris Davis and 10pm CAPRICORN CLIMBER with Mat Maneri, Ingrid Laubrock, Kris Davis, Eivind Opsvik and Tom Rainey.
The music of pianist Kris Davis is characterized by its duality. Although often tagged as “cerebral”—and her output is complex and progressive, often as tied to contemporary classical as it is to jazz—Davis’ music is just as much a visceral experience. A similar duality is present in her personality: A soft-spoken modesty comes across at first, but it’s inner confidence and self-possession that make the lasting impression. These qualities have helped make the Calgary- bred Davis, 33, one of the more highly regarded composer-improvisers on the New York scene.
On the heels of a quintet album released March 18—Capricorn Climber (Clean Feed)—Davis put out two more albums this fall: Massive Threads (Thirsty Ear), her second solo piano disc, and the all-improvised LARK (Skirl), documenting a collective with saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, trumpeter Ralph Alessi and drummer Tom Rainey.
Set for release next year is Waiting For You To Grow, the second album by her trio with Rainey and bassist John Hébert. The title refers to her writing and recording the music while pregnant with her first child. Balancing creative work with new motherhood, Davis then finished composing an album-length suite for an unusual octet—four bass clarinets, guitar, piano, organ, drums—that she will premiere in January at Roulette in Brooklyn, then record in the studio.
Davis has recorded eight albums as a leader in a decade. That’s in addition to two albums with Paradoxical Frog, her collaborative trio with Laubrock and drummer Tyshawn Sorey. Davis’ drive stems in part from the way she first pursued her life in music, having left Calgary at 17 to study jazz piano in Toronto. “I’ve always had a commitment to working hard,” she said. “That comes from when I first left home—I had this fear: ‘Am I going to be able to do this and make it?’ That has stuck with me.”
Once in New York, Davis didn’t take long to develop a soundprint marked by a horizontal, line-oriented method rather than one that’s vertical and chord-centered. Early jazz influences had included Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarrett, followed by such mentors as saxophonist Tony Malaby. Lately, she has been drawn to modernist composers. Her first solo album, Aeriol Piano (Clean Feed), included prepared piano à la John Cage. There’s a piece on Massive Threads based on György Ligeti’s étude The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; another had her musing, “What if Morton Feldman played Monk?” Her upcoming trio album includes a number titled “Berio,” after Luciano. She said, “The discipline of learning to play Ligeti or Berio makes you relate different physically to the keyboard—and that can open up new approaches.”
As part of a residency at Cornelia Street Cafe, I will perform with 2 of my well established groups and one experimental ensemble. This will take place on the last Saturday of September, October and November. See below…
September 28th- Kris Davis Trio with Tom Rainey and John Hebert. Performing the music I composed for the Jazz Gallery Residency in April.
October 26th- LARK! CD release party (on Skirl Records) with Ingrid Laubrock, Ralph Alessi and Tom Rainey. (We are also playing at Edgefest on the October 24th in Ann Arbor as part of the CD release).
November 30th- ‘Experimental Quartet’ with Sam Newsome-soprano saxophone, William Parker-bass, Ches Smith-drums
Really looking forward to playing with Eric Revis’s trio (Eric Revis, myself and Andrew Cyrille) again at the Vision Festival (Saturday June 15th at 8:45). Also looking forward to playing with LARK (Ralph Alessi, Ingrid Laubrock, Tom Rainey and myself) at the Red Hook Jazz Festival (June 16th at 1pm).
Heres the New York Times Review of Eric’s new record ‘City of Ayslum’:
The performance to write home about at this year’s Winter Jazzfest was a freely improvised set by the bassist Eric Revis, the pianist Kris Davis and the drummer Andrew Cyrille: musicians of intrepid poise, foraging together in deep communion. “City of Asylum” (Clean Feed) offers a comparable experience. Mr. Revis, who has earned a reputation for hard-swinging brio in the Branford Marsalis Quartet, works here with mystery and indirection. Mr. Cyrille, an avant-garde eminence in his 70s, and Ms. Davis, an ascendant talent in her 30s, explore a language largely defined by common touchstones, like the pianists Cecil Taylor and Andrew Hill.
The album has three proper compositions — a slinky Revis original (“Question”), a Thelonious Monk tune (“Gallop’s Gallop”) and a hymn by Keith Jarrett (“Prayer”) — but its lifeblood is the uncharted territory, spread across seven tracks that cohere as a whole. What that material reveals is the quality of the listening among the players, an abstract ideal made nearly tangible.
Through the Jerome Foundation, the Jazz Gallery commissioned me to compose a series of new works in the month of April. I composed a series of new pieces for my working trio with Tom Rainey and John Hebert. Looking forward to premiering the new music in Europe next week (see dates below) and in New York City at the Jazz Gallery May 10th and 11th. We go into the studio right after the performances to make a new CD on Cleanfeed Records, to be release some time in early 2014.
May 1- Stadtgarten, Cologne, Germany
May 2nd- Bimhuis, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
May 3rd- AJMi, Avignon, France
May 4th- Jamboree, Barcelona, Spain
May 5th- National Jazz Scene, Oslo, Norway
May 10th and 11th- Jazz Gallery, NY, NY
“A freethinking, gifted pianist on the scene, Davis lives in each note that she plays. Her range is impeccable; she tackles prepared piano, minimalism, and jazz standards, all under one umbrella. I consider her an honorary descendant of Cecil Taylor and a welcome addition to the fold.” – Jason Moran, Art Forum-Best of 2012
Radio Recording from the solo piano concert at the Goethe Institute in Amsterdam:
- click to listen -
Over the last couple of years in New York one method for deciding where to hear jazz on a given night has been to track down the pianist Kris Davis. She has been playing in town for 10 years, but her gigs have become almost constant: with the bassist Eivind Opsvik, the saxophonists Tony Malaby and Ingrid Laubrock, the drummer Tyshawn Sorey and others. It was only a matter of time before she became unavoidable on record, and now’s that time. Ms. Davis’s style is wide, and dependent on its context: a kind of tour of post-free jazz and contemporary classical music, Keith Jarrett to Cecil Taylor to Morton Feldman. Her own work can be cerebral and darting and easy to grasp, as on the solid new record by the Kris Davis Trio, “Good Citizen” (Fresh Sound), with the bassist John Hebert and the drummer Tom Rainey. Somewhere in the middle of the scale, mildly experimental, is “Three” (Clean Feed), by the drummerless SKM Trio, with the saxophonist Stephen Gauci and bassist Michael Bisio. And on “Paradoxical Frog” (Clean Feed), in a trio with Ms. Laubrock and Mr. Sorey — a frequently stunning record, and so far one of this year’s best — she bounces among extremes of quiet and attack, changing her role drastically from track to track.