Ms. Davis and Mr. Taborn are two pianists with an ear for stark clarity and unflinching abstraction. Each is the kind of player whose presence is reason enough to go see a gig: They can hold an entire band together, then throw its bone structure apart with a flick of the wrist. On Friday they released “Octopus,”a collection of duets recorded on tour in 2016. The pair ventures often into free improvisations: playfully dyspeptic, scattered, opaque. But on “Love in Outer Space” — a Sun Ra classic that Mr. Taborn keeps in regular circulation with his quartet — the six-beat, Middle Eastern plod grows only more hypnotic over the course of the nearly eight-minute performance. Toward the end, a high note starts tolling in a rusty chime; that’s Ms. Davis’s piano, prepared with a bit of metal clipped to a high B-flat string, rattling like a beacon or a tin heartbeat. G.R.
The New York Times