The Squid's Ear Magazine

Revis, Eric  / Taylor / McHenry / Jones / Branford Marsalis: In Memory of Things Yet Seen (Clean Feed)

A superb modern jazz release from NY bassist Eric Revis with Chad Taylor (drums), Bill McHenry (sax) and Darius Jones (sax), plus special guest Branford Marsalis on two tracks.

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product information:

UPC: 5609063002942

Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF294
Squidco Product Code: 18857

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2014
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardstock Gatefold Sleeve
Recorded on September 2nd and 3rd, and December 13th at The Samurai Hotel Studios, Queens, New York by Katsuhiko Naito.


Bill McHenry-tenor saxophone

Darisu Jones-alto saxophone

Chad Taylor-drums

Eric Revis-bass

Special Guest:

Branford Marsalis-tenor saxophone (tracks 5,11)

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"For bassist Eric Revis, differentiations between what is considered "mainstream" and "avant-garde" in jazz means next to nothing. With his new astonishing CD, In Memory of Things Yet Seen, Revis puts his own wider vision of jazz into practice. The title suggests from the start that the tradition and the inventions of the future aren't mutually exclusive.

Joining Revis on his third release on Clean Feed Records, are like-minded musicians who continually looking back to see more clearly what is in front of them. Namely Darius Jones, an altoist who understoods that hip-hop, funk, soul and rock are all branches of the same tree from which jazz blossoms. Bill McHenry, a saxophonist known for a role in many of Paul Motian's projects who has played extensively with Revis in his own quartet with pianist Orrin Evans and the legendary Andrew Cyrille. And of course Chad Taylor, a fundamental part of the Chicago Underground ensembles, always trying to establish new vocabularies in the context of already established ones.

"The way the band is shaping up, there's much reverence for tradition and the tradition of taking things forward," Revis says. "I really like the fact that they are all such well-rounded players. Right now, there are very few bands that are really doing the 'back to the future' thing."

Revis, who now makes his home in Los Angeles (following 14 eventful years in New York City and a brief sojourn near San Antonio, TX), has the credentials to talk tradition. He came up with the Betty Carter Quartet in the 1990s and has been Branford Marsalis's man on bass since 1997. More recently he's been heard alongside heavy-hitting horn players like Peter Brötzmann and Ken Vandermark. The two saxophonists Revis brought in for his new quartet, Jones and McHenry, follow in that full-throttle tradition. And adding to the sax complement, Marsalis himself shows up on two tracks.

"Branford was like, 'Man, I'm coming into town, am I playing on your record?" Revis recalled with a laugh. "He was coming back from Japan and he stayed over a couple days and we just did it."

Having Marsalis on board only added to the sound which Revis was looking for. Propelled by Chad Taylor's vibes and drums, the group has a voice reminiscent of Coleman's pianoless quartets (especially the Dewey Redman / Jimmy Garrison / Elvin Jones band of the late '60s) and bassist Dave Holland's early '70s Conference of the Birds band, with Anthony Braxton, Sam Rivers and Barry Altschul, a band which also forsook a pianist.

"All of my projects have featured piano," he says. "I've always wanted to do something with an amalgam of four voices. And a lot of it is composed. There's just two pieces, "Hits" and "FreeB" that are improv."

The album includes a nod to a past master of futurism with a spirited take on Sun Ra's "Shadow World." But it's Revis's compositions that sell the band. His "The Tulpa Chronicles" - spread across the album in three parts - is a beautifully metered suite for each of the instrumental voices. "Somethin's Cookin" could be seen as a love letter to Coleman's New York is Now. The intriguingly titled "Unknown" opens as an upbeat hard bop and progresses by pushing at its own edges. "3 Voices" is a ballad wonderfully crafted out of unison and sparsity. And whatever image the title "Hold My Snowcone" conjures, it probably wouldn't match the slow burn of the track.

The group will be touring France, Spain, Austria and Belgium in March, and Revis is looking forward to continuing on with the lineup long after that.

"We've all played together in different contexts," Revis says. "I have full intentions of going back and forth between this and my trio with Kris Davis and Andrew Cyrille." In Memory of Things Yet Seen is, he promises, "an initial foray into what will be a unique band sound."

"-Clean Feed Records

This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
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Artist Biographies

"Chad Taylor (b. 1973) is a composer, educator, percussionist and scholar who is a co-founder of the Chicago Underground ensembles. Originally from Tempe, AZ, Chad grew up in Chicago where he started performing professionally at the age of 16. Chad has performed with Fred Anderson, Derek Bailey, Cooper-Moore, Pharoah Sanders, Marc Ribot, Peter Brotzmann, Malachi Favors and many others. Chad leads his own band Circle down which debut recording was given a 5 star review by All music:

"What is remarkable is that there is no wasted motion, no histrionics or grandstanding, as pure emotion is translated to superlative music making on this most highly recommended recording, one for the ages."

Chad has a BFA from the New School in Jazz Performance and a MFA in Jazz Research and History from Rutgers University."

-Chad Taylor Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"One of the most talented and accomplished musicians of his generation, Grammy Award-winning bassist and composer Eric Revis has, over the past 15 years, become an important voice in jazz. Branford Marsalis states, "Eric's sound is the sound of doom; big, thick, percussive." Scores of musicians across various disciplines agree. Revis has performed and recorded with Betty Carter, Peter Brotzmann, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Steve Coleman, Ralph Peterson, Lionel Hampton, McCoy Tyner, Andrew Cyrille, and Tarbaby (the experimental trio he tri-leads with Orrin Evans and Nasheet Waits).

Manning the bass chair with Branford Marsalis' powerfully flexible quartet since 1997, Revis has also recorded four brilliant albums as a leader. 2004's Tales of the Stuttering Mime and 2009's Laughter's Necklace of Tears have both revealed his startling range as a musician and composer. Informed by his past but not tethered to it, a glimpse into the musical trajectory of this artist is indelibly clear on his latest release Parallax (Clean Feed ) and the soon to be released City of Asylum (Clean Feed).

"Tales of the Stuttering Mime was an amalgam of songs I'd been composing for quite some time," Revis explains. "Being that there were a lot of different influences at play, it required that I use various band configurations on almost every tune, which was great in that I had a very real connection to all of the musicians involved." With Laughter's Necklace of Tears the same conceptual construct was in place in terms of the confluence of musical influences, but the goal was to present it in a more cohesive fashion in terms of having one group navigate the songs for the record as opposed to five or six".

Conceptually improvisational and thematically broad, Parallax (Clean Feed) is timeless and borderless. The albums' approach is one of inclusion, extrapolation and exploration. Joined by Jason Moran, Ken Vandermark and Nasheet Waits, it is a true document of Revis' growth as a composer, bassist and sounding board. As on previous recordings, Revis' playing is personal and distinctive: his tone deep and woody, his execution, agile, melodic and clear. A musical polyglot, Revis is comfortable in any setting, any direction. His skills as a band leader and composer are equally profound and inspiring."

-Eric Revis Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. The Tulpa Chronicles 2:58

2. Hits 5:25

3. Son Seals 5:56

4. Somethin's Cookin' 7:01

5. Unknown 6:18

6. The Tulpa Chronicles (Pt. II...Ephemeral Canvas) 2:02

7. 3 Voices 3:29

8. A Lesson Learned 2:40

9. The Shadow World 7:26

10. Hold My Snow Cone 4:35

11. FreeB 2:37

12. The Tulpa Chronicles (Pt. III...For Cordel "Boogie" Mosson) 4:41

13. If You're Lonesome, Then You're Not Alone 2:09

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
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Clean Feed
Sextet Recordings
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