Kris Davis


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(Bio by Rocco Stilo)

Based in New York, Canadian pianist and composer Kris Davis debuted as the bandleader with Life Span (june 2003) in a sextet along with Eivind Opsvik (bass), her husband Jeff Davis (drums), Russ Johnson (flugelhorn), Jason Rigby and Tony Malaby (both on tenor and soprano saxes). The Slightest Shift (october 2005) featured the same line-up minus Johnson and Rigby. The same group recorded Rye Eclipse (june 2007), containing the ten-minute Rye Eclipse.

The ethereal and intimate Good Citizen (may 2009) for a trio with John Hebert (bass) and Tom Rainey (drums) contains Ktj-1.

Paradoxical Frog (august 2009) inaugurated a new project, a trio with Tyshawn Sorey (drums) and Ingrid Laubrock (tenor sax). Individually composed (Sorey and Davis three pieces, Laubrock two pieces), the album boasts plenty of duets and solos, and a more lyrical mood, as in the longer piece, Homograph, composed by Sorey.

SKM was a group formed by Kris Davis (piano), Stephen Gauci (tenor sax) and Michael Bisio (double bass), documented on Three (june 2008).

Davis' first solo, Aeriol Piano (august 2009), contains a reworking of Jerome Kerns' All the Things You Are and seven originals, some for prepared piano and other completely improvised.

Union (october 2011), the second Paradoxical Frog album, contains nine compositions, again individually composed (Sorey three pieces, Laubrock four and Davis two).

Capricorn Climber (march 2012), in a quintet with Mat Maneri (viola), Ingrid Laubrock (sax), Trevor Dunn (bass) and Tom Rainey (drums and glockenspiel), is a bit more avantagarde. Her second solo for (prepared) piano Massive Threads (october 2012) contains seven new pieces and a reworking of Thelonius Monk's Evidence.

Waiting For You To Grow (may 2013) sports the same trio of Good Citizen, with six lenghty pieces that she composed, as the title suggests, while pregnant with her first child.

Her project Infrasound was documented on Save Your Breath (january 2014). It features an ensemble with four clarinetists (Andrew Bishop, Ben Goldberg, Joachim Badenhorst, and Oscar Noriega), Jim Black (drums), Nate Radley (guitar) and Gary Versace (organ). The music is slightly more rock-oriented. It contains two long revisions from her previous albums, particularly the 14-minute Save Your Breath.

Duopoly (may 2015) is an ambitious CD+DVD containing duets with jazz giants such as Bill Frisell (guitar), Tim Berne (alto sax), Julian Lage (guitar), Craig Taborn, Angelica Sanchez (both on piano), Don Byron (clarinet), Marcus Gilmore, Billy Drummond (both on drums).

The Borderlands Trio with Stephan Crump (acoustic bass) and Eric McPherson (drums) debuted with Asteroidea (december 2016) containing the 26-minute Borderlands, followed by the double-disc set Wandersphere (december 2020), containing four lengthy pieces, notably the 41-minute Old-Growth and the 30-minute Super-Organism.

Diatom Ribbons (december 2018) featured Esperanza Spalding (voice), JD Allen and Tony Malaby (both on tenor sax), Ches Smith (vibraphone), Nels Cline and Marc Ribot (both on guitar), Trevor Dunn (electric bass), Val Jeanty (turntable) and Terri Lyne Carrington (drums).

Inland Empire (september 2016) documents a live performance with the Norwegian rhythm section of bassist Ole Morten Vagan and drummer Oyvind Skarbo, plus Swedish reedist Fredrik Ljungkvist.

She played piano, prepared piano and synthesizer on Live At The Village Vanguard (may 2022) with Terri Lyne Carrington (drums), Val Jeanty (turntables and electronics), Julian Lage (electric guitar) and Trevor Dunn (electric bass).

Kris Davis' project Borderlands Trio returned with the double-disc set Rewilder (may 2023) and new lineup with bassist Stephan Crump and drummer Eric McPherson. The album contains the 23-minute Lost Species and the 18-minute Monotreme.

(Copyright © 2018 Rocco Stilo | Terms of Use )
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