Pyroclastic Records label. The recording features Ms. Davis on piano plus his "working" quartet of Chad Taylor (drums, mbira), Darius Jones (alto saxophone), and Bill McHenry (tenor saxophone with afore-mentioned Faulkner on drums for two tracks. The resulting music (nine Revis originals, one each from both the saxophonists, and one credited to the bassist, drummer, and pianist) runs the gamut from funk to fiery blowouts to subtle ballads, and never a dull moment. The program opens with "Baby Renfro" (listen below), a serious slab of funk underscored by Faulkner's drums, Ms. Davis's "rhythm guitar-like" piano, and and the leader's thick bass lines. The overdubbed saxes play a robotic rhythmic line plus there are several slowdowns but most of the piece romps forward.
|Photo: Jati Lindsay|
The most intriguing song "SpÆ", an improvised work for bass, mbira, and treated piano that flows from Revis's opening pattern and quiet piano figures and the percussive mbira into a more steady pace. Also a three-part work, the music flows from section to section seamlessly. The trance-like effect of the overdubbed mbira takes over the final moments slowing down with the bass to the fade. McHenry's lovely ballad "When I Become Nothing" features the band moving forward together with only Ms. Davis moving around the two saxophones. While not a conventional ballad, the music has a subtle beauty and a yearning quality.
"Slipknots Through a Looking Glass" continues the impressive body of music that Eric Revis has produced over the past two+ decades. The sound quality of the recording is quite impressive as you can clearly hear all the voices, even when there is a lot of noise. This is neither simple music nor "art-for-art's-sake" but true creative Black American Music.
For more information, go to https://ericrevis.com. To purchase the album, go to https://ericrevispyroclastic.bandcamp.com/album/slipknots-through-a-looking-glass.
Here's the deliciously funky "Baby Renfro":
|Photo: John Abbott|
There are plenty of other highlights. Wilson's "Every Day With You" is a lovely ballad, heartfelt, emotional, and richly melodic. "Sunny & Share", also an original, may be a tribute to the 1960s hitmakers but, in reality, it's a raucous and rapid melody line punctuated by short solos from each member of the band. The title tune (listen below) may just bring Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass to mind. Complete with a string accompaniment (all parts arranged and performed by Matt Combs, a Nashville, TN-based fiddler), the piece is quite sweet and deserving of its title.
|Photo: John Abbott|
For more information, go to www.mattwilsonjazz.com.
Here's the title track: