Kris Davis’ Latest Shift

Kris Davis — Rye Eclipse (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2008 ) Fresh Sound New Talent

I find I’m having trouble writing about the latest Kris Davis CD. It’s good, and it’s free jazz, but saying that alone doesn’t do it justice. It’s different, and it’s clearly an evolutionary step and a gutsy one, for a pianist whose quartet started out with a more conventional sound.

The excellent Free Jazz blog has noted Davis’ progression into more abstract musical forms. Her quartet, formed in 2004, includes Tony Malaby on saxophone, who’s not exactly dinner-jazz material himself, but the debut Lifeline CD stuck to a comforting kind of sound, with plenty of towering piano and sax work, but an overall quilted feel that goes over well with jazz-club audiences. Have a listen here, on Davis’ Web page.

The Slightest Shift pushed the limits into some very interesting open-ended improvising, and Rye Eclipse completes the ascent into full-on madness. I love it.

Continue reading “Kris Davis’ Latest Shift”

Playlist: Jan 6, 2009 (Long Tracks)

One thing I enjoy about college radio, both as a listener and a DJ, is that longer tracks get a chance to fully stretch out. I don’t always have the space to spare, though; I’ll often use excerpts of 15- and 30-minute pieces as a way to flit from one mood to another, but because I’ve usually got a stack of music I’m hoping to play, I’m stingy with the time I give those tracks.

Given a big expanse of time to fill today, with folks still returning from Xmas break, I decided to take the chance to feature only long tracks: 15 minutes or more. It might sound lazy, but 15 minutes goes by really fast when you’re the DJ, trust me.

It turned out to be a fortuitous bit of programming, since a mild cold left me with a sore throat and not much energy today.

As of this writing, the stack of music beside me includes: Tim Berne, Weasel Walter, Aruna Sairam, Todd Rundgren, Magma, Tanmoy Bose (do I dare play a 32-minute tabla solo?) and others.

Here’s the playlist, being updated quasi-real-time. Most album titles link into KZSU’s Zookeeper database; the Album Review icon means there’s a review or description there as well.

Playlist for The Long Form Tuesday, 6 January 2009 9am – 3pm DJ: Wedge
Artist Track Album/Label
Hartigan, Royal Ensemble Anlo Kete Album Review Blood Drum Spirit: The Royal Hartigan Ensemble Live In China
Innova Recordings
Allen, Tony No Accomodation For Lagos Album Review Afro Disco Beat
Vampi Soul
Zappa, Frank The Purple Lagoon Läther
— (10:00 a.m.) —
Taylor, Cecil Amplitude Great Paris Concert
Get Back
E.S.T. Premonition Album Review Leucocyte
Decca Music Group Ltd.
Sairam, Aruna Bandanodi Album Review Divine Inspiration
Harmonia Mundi Usa
— (11:00 a.m.) —
Sairam, Aruna Bandanodi [cont’d] Album Review Divine Inspiration
Harmonia Mundi Usa
Krause, Drew Go-Round Ding
Capstone Records
Bose, Tanmoy Slow Tintal Album Review Solo Tabla
Bol Records
— (12:00 noon) —
Garnas, Agnes Buen/Jan Garbarek Margjit Og Targjei Risvollo Album Review Rosensfole
Ecm Records
New Haven Improvisers Collective Quantum Decoherence Album Review Interference
Self Release
Evans, Peter/Weasel Walter Group The Eyes of Hell Oculus ex Abyssus
— (1:00 p.m.) —
Magma Mekanik Zain Magma Live
Rca Records (Modern)
Kalhor, Kayhan & Brooklyn Rider Silent City Album Review Silent City
Harmonia Mundi Usa
— (2:00 p.m.) —
Smith, Chas Descent Descent
Cold Blue
Berne, Tim/Copenhagen Art Ens Impacted Wisdom Open, Coma
Screwgun Records

EPILOGUE: There, it’s done. Rewarding, and relaxing at first, but kind of boring later on — there’s a lot of sitting around involved, as you’d imagine. Tim Berne will clock out the final 40 minutes of the show now… ‘turns out “Impacted Wisdom” is the one track of the Open, Coma CD that no one’s played on the air ever at KZSU, so, what the heck.