Reviews

Jazztimes review-Capricorn Climber-Lloyd Sachs

Which comes first, the pianist or the composer? Even on Kris Davis’ exceptional 2011 solo album, Aeriol Piano, the answer was elusive, the ingenuity of her writing and arranging seizing as much attention as her playing and improvising. On Davis’ new quintet recording, Capricorn Climber, the Brooklyn-based artist is so geared toward group interplay and an overall group sound, it’s even more difficult to sort out the sides of her individual talent. Among new-school pianists, Davis is one of the least disposed >> Read more…

NY Times review – Capricorn Climber and Strong Place (Ingrid laubrock’s Anti-house record)

Ingrid Laubrock, a saxophonist, and Kris Davis, a pianist, share an aesthetic of unsettled calm and unhurried revelation. With the drummer Tyshawn Sorey they make up Paradoxical Frog, a trio that can make free improvisation feel structurally inevitable, like the logical conclusion to a far-reaching argument. With their own bands Ms. Laubrock and Ms. Davis favor a slightly more careful arrangement of ideas, and compositions with discrete parameters. They both like chamber-group dynamics but shot through with rough texture and a >> Read more…

NYC Jazz Record review – Capricorn Climber

Pianist Kris Davis has perfected a great trick, dressing her elaborate compositions in the guise of improvisation so successfully it’s barely possible to tell one from the other. By doing so she retains the freshness and unpredictability of unscripted interaction while at the same time keeping a taut conceptual grasp. In this she’s abetted by an allstar cast, including frequent collaborators like saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and drummer Tom Rainey. Davis sets the mood with her purposefully intelligent promptings, only cutting loose herself on “Pass The Magic Hat”, before setting up >> Read more…

Washington Post- Concert Review of Capricorn Climber

There’s a kind of quiet at the heart of the Kris Davis Quintet. Even in the band’s wildest, most avant-garde moments — and there were a few at Bohemian Caverns on Sunday — it was easy to detect a peaceful center to the maelstrom. And as loud and seemingly chaotic as its members could get, especially tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubock and drummer Tom Rainey, they consistently found their way back to that centering influence — Davis herself. The young pianist >> Read more…

NY Times – New Pilots and the Keyboard

Kris Davis’s style is dry and blunt and authoritative, and still changing. At 31 she’s worked in a circle of musicians including the saxophonists Tony Malaby and Ingrid Laubrock, the bassists John Hébert and Eivind Opsvik, and the drummer Jeff Davis, her former husband. Her playing uses space and tension and contrast; it always has an interior plan and doesn’t leap at you to show you how hip it is. It’s very open, but it comes with rules. “A lot >> Read more…