Reviews

Village Voice – Kris Davis and Craig Taborn – Michael J. Agovino

Piano Madness: Kris Davis and Craig Taborn in Freewheeling Dialogue by MICHAEL J. AGOVINO The Village Voice PETER_GANNUSHKIN   In jazz, the duo is perhaps the most underappreciated, and least commercially viable, of any combo setting. Consider all the classic trios, quartets, quintets, and sextets throughout the music’s history. Even septets, octets, and nonets get more love. Big bands, too. Solo performances, especially from pianists—for whom it’s right of passage—can be memorable events, and enhance a career. (See Keith Jarrett.) And although >> Read more…

The New York City Jazz Record – Octopus – John Sharpe

Pianist Kris Davis’ 2015 self-released Duopoly CD/DVD set paired her with eight first-time partners and generated several ongoing collaborations. But while Davis has also toured with pianist Angelica Sanchez and drummer Billy Drummond as a consequence, it is the chemistry with fellow pianist Craig Taborn that has resulted in the first issued documentation of these extended encounters. It’s an eye-catching combination as both are among the most in-demand practitioners on the scene. Selected from three different fall 2016 concerts, the >> Read more…

The Wire – Octopus – Phil Freeman

Kris Davis & Graig Taborn Octopus Pyroclastic CD/DL In 2016, pianist Kris Davis recorded Duopoly, a collection of duets with eight colleagues: reeds players Tim Berne and Don Byron, guitarists Bill Frisell and Julian Lage, drummers Billy Drummond and Marcus Gilmore, and fellow pianists Angelica Sanchez and Craig Taborn. Each pairing recorded one composition and one free piece. Subsequently, Davis and Taborn undertook a US tour of 12 cities and composed new music for the occasion. The gigs were recorded, >> Read more…

The New York Times – Love In Outer Space – Giovanni Russonello

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 >> Read more…

The Wall Street Journal – Octopus – Martin Johnson

‘Octopus’ by Craig Taborn and Kris Davis Review: Diving for Deep Listening Live recordings of the jazz piano duet offer insights into the roots of the players’ technique. ‘Octopus’ is the new album from jazz pianists Craig Taborn and Kris Davis PHOTO: PETER GANNUSHKIN By Martin Johnson The Wall Street Journal Piano duet recordings are rare in jazz compared with trios or solos, yet they offer huge rewards. A duet of artists with contrasting styles—say, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock or >> Read more…