Saxophonist Stephen Gauci, pianist Kris Davis and bassist Michael Bisio work in an entirely improvised context, referencing jazz tradition with remarkable freedom and style.
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Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF 189
Squidco Product Code: 13229
Packaging: Cardstock Gatefold Sleeve
Recorded by Marc Urselli at Eastside Sound, NYC, June 17, 2008.
Stephen Gauci-tenor saxophone
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1. The End Must Always Come 7:11
2. Like a Dream, a Phantom 8:07
3. Something From Nothing 9:37
4. Groovin' for the Hell of It 6:54
5. Still, So Beautiful 3:30
6. Now 5:20
7. No Reason To or Not To 8:16
8. Just to be Heard 4:46
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Squidco's Clean Feed $12.00 Sale
sample the album:
"Paul Bley once said that, if you want to change the music, you have to change the conventional jazz instrumentation. Jummy Giuffre did it excluding the drumkit from his trios, one of them precisely with Bley, and now Stephen Gauci, Kris Davis and Michael Bisio adopt the formula for a new welcomed deviation from the norm. As expected, the absence of a rhythmic driving instrumentalist mutates drastically the parameters of the music played: everything gets much freer, and at the same time it takes a chamber, clean, almost classical, flavor - even when the focus is on "groovin' for the hell of it", one of the CD subtitles. If there's a tenor saxophone, a piano and a double bass, like with the Giuffre's trio in 1961, stylistically what we find in Three have other premisses and objectives. First of all, and except for a Bisio's composition, all tracks are entirely improvised. So, this is something else, formally and organizationally. Only the musical language used, jazz, connects the proceedings with history, and if Gauci, Davis and Bisio are true innovators, they deal with the tradition. After all, Stephen Gauci had Joe Lovano, George Garzone and Frank Wess as masters, all of them guardians of the tenor lineage, Kris Davis is a remarkable heir of the third stream ambition to combine contemporary music and jazz elements, and Michael Bisio is the present day contrabassist more akin to Charlie Haden's lyricism."-Clean Feed
• Show Bio for Kris Davis
"Pianist-composer Kris Davis has blossomed as one of the singular talents on the New York jazz scene, a deeply thoughtful, resolutely individual artist who offers "uncommon creative adventure," according to JazzTimes. The Vancouver-born, Brooklyn-residing Davis was dubbed one of the music's top up-and-comers in a 2012 New York Times article titled "New Pilots at the Keyboard," with the newspaper saying: "Over the past couple 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." Reviewing one of the series of striking albums Davis has released over the past half-decade, the Chicago Sun-Times lauded the "sense of kaleidoscopic possibilities" in her playing and compositions.
Long favored by her peers and jazz fans in the know, Davis has earned high praise from no less than star pianist and MacArthur "Genius" Grant honoree Jason Moran, who included her in his Best of 2012 piece in Art Forum, writing: "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."
The newest album from Davis as a leader is Capricorn Climber (Clean Feed, 2013), with the pianist joined by kindred spirits Ingrid Laubrock (tenor saxophone), Mat Maneri (viola), Trevor Dunn (double-bass) and Tom Rainey (drums). Davis made her debut on record as a leader with Lifespan (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2003), followed by three progressively inventive and acclaimed albums for the Fresh Sound label: the quartet discs The Slightest Shift (2006) and Rye Eclipse (2008), then the trio set Good Citizen (2010). Davis's 2011 solo piano album on Clean Feed, Aeriol Piano, appeared on Best of the Year lists in The New York Times, JazzTimes and Art Forum. Davis wrote the extraordinary arrangements for saxophonist-composer Tony Malaby's nonet project Novela, with the album Novela released by Clean Feed in 2011 and appearing on Best of the Year lists in DownBeat and JazzTimes. The pianist is also part of the collaborative Paradoxical Frog with Laubrock and drummer Tyshawn Sorey; their eponymous 2011 album on Clean Feed was included on Best of the Year lists by National Public Radio, The New York Times and All About Jazz.
In addition to her work as a leader, Davis has performed with such top figures as Paul Motian, Bill Frisell, Tim Berne, John Hollenbeck, Michael Formanek and Mary Halvorson. Davis started playing piano at age 6, studying classical music through the Royal Conservatory in Canada and formulating her desire for a life in music by playing in the school jazz band at age 12. She earned a bachelor's degree in Jazz Piano from the University of Toronto and attended the Banff Centre for the Arts jazz program in 1997 and 2000. The pianist received a Canada Council grant to relocate to New York and study composition with Jim McNeely, then another to study extended piano techniques with Benoit Delbecq in Paris. She holds a master's in Classical Composition from the City College of New York, and she teaches at the School for Improvised Music.
The Jazz Gallery has given Davis a commissioning residency to write for her trio with Rainey and John Hébert to take place in May 2013, and the Shifting Foundation awarded her a grant to compose and record a large-ensemble project. About her art, JazzTimes has declared: "Davis draws you in so effortlessly that the brilliance of what she's doing doesn't hit you until the piece has slipped past." "-Kris Davis Website (http://krisdavis.net/bio/)
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