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Kurz vor Erscheinen.
Auf dem Felde der Musik dreht sich es sich oft im Kreise. Der Jazzbereich ist berüchtigt dafür. Es muss auch nicht unbedingt schlecht sein. Schlecht sind nur die oftmals falsch oder leer klingenden Lobeshymnen (ja, auch Geschriebenes klingt, stimmt (nicht) oder ist (nicht) stimmig), der Trott und das Nichtbemerken desselben. Der amerikanische Bassist Eric Revis ist ein Musiker, der nicht aus dem Tritt kommt, wohl aber dem Trott entweicht. Auf bemerkenswerte Weise. Skepsis stand auch bei mir jedes Mal am Anfang. Zumal als ich ihn zum ersten Mal vor zwei Jahren in Ljubljana spielen sah. Das Gute an der Skepsis ist, dass man sich gewonnen geben kann und dann der Effekt umso stärker (sicherer, nachhaltiger) ist. Revis’ Musik ist heftig, aber es wird nicht in heroischer Pose drauflos gehammert. Soul kann eben auch rauh, uneben, karstig, verschüttelt sein.
Eric Revis – In Memory Of Things Yet Seen. CLEAN FEED

Bassist Eric Revis is a heavyweight in more than one respect. He is doing the improbable in a remarkably way thereby ignoring collectively imposed and maintained demarcations at work. Armed with his physically very present, raw and vibrant bass sound he beat his track into the realms of freely improvised music. In 2012 he made his debut on authoritative Lisboan Clean Feed Label with a dream team (11:11) of Jason Moran, Ken Vandermark and Nasheet Waits and their album Parallax. The follow-up in 2013 was an even more surprising trio with pianist Kris Davis and all favourite drummer Andrew Cyrille. The contrasts of the trio’s City of Asylum in 2013 proved to be a revelation. One of the best in its category. Not leaning back Revis has already set the next step with a new high calibre 2+2-constellation: Revis with percussionist Chad Taylor augmented by Bill McHenry on tenor and Darius Jones on alto, a line-up to drill through thick boards. Which actually happens on this bold new album.
Crazy things are claimed in jazz-related writing at times but a link between Branford Marsalis and Peter Brötzmann is not fictitious anymore. Eric Revis at least played and recorded with both musicians. One with Brötz and even nine albums with Branford Marsalis and, as a unifying matter of fact, Marsalis stepped in on two pieces of this greatly fine grinding album.
Revis is not the man to balance styles or whatsoever – how would it sound, such a teetering affair! He plays raw, uninhibited , direct, always full force instead. As a leader he does not primarily act harmonizing , supporting or anchoring. Sparking, firing up and energizing he makes the dust fly. The nuance is in the rhythmic fine-tuning, in the interaction with all greatly contrasting voices where the branding happens. These contrast are used in the music of the quartet in an impressive way. At high intensity, various temperatures with fervid, truthful sounds emerging. Revis‘ attack is the same type as that of Howlin‘ Wolf , the legendary blues giant. It is the primal force of the voice and soul which is manifested, far from stylized sadness, loneliness and longing smolder. It is revealing here in thirteen pieces equally striking and beautiful.
Only two of the 13 pieces, “Hits” and “FreeB”, are entirely free improvised. “The Tulpa Chronicles” are spread in three parts over the whole album. The first part of it is the starting point of the album. With its ostinato vibraphone lines it opens up a wide horizon after which the fierce roarings, whacks and spanks of “Hits” tumble and fly through space. “Son Seals” is a fast M-Base like blues with brilliant expansion-contraction movements. Superb how Revis and Taylor prepare the soil from which the two horns emerge with full thrust. “Somethin’s cookin’” is an apt title for the subsequent piece that at times comes across as a mixture of Tibetan and mariachi horns blowing. “Unknown” also is a killer piece, swinging hard and raw. “The Tulip Chronicles II” is short, with great resilience and above all catchy and danceable. “Voices” is a slow burner with full raw saxophone sounds of Darius Jones and Bill McHenry, no place for sentimental moods ! “Earned A Lesson” starts with a superb bass intro and has a high content including New Orleans second-line beat. “The Shadow World” is the decisive step to get the last slumber heads awake. It is like one can suspect a piece by Sun Ra. The qualities of all four musicians accumulate here in a highly intense way. “Hold My Snow Cone” is a slow blues in which Darius Jones takes the torch over from Arthur Blythe. The concluding “If You Are Lonesome, Then You’re Not Alone” is a hymn or a gospel of the future carried by a striking saxophone duet. Highly recommended: upcoming live-performances of this group!
march: 11 – Paris, 12 – Valencia, 13 – Barcelona, 14 – Amsterdam, 15 – Neuburg, 16 – Wien, 18 – Rijkevorsel (near Antwerp)
Eric Revis: double-bass; Chad Taylor: drums, vibraphone; Bill McHenry: tenor saxophone; Darius Jones: alto saxophone
Darius Jones is one of the most impressive young alto-players deeply routed in the Afro-American vocal tradition. He made a couple of records for the AUM-label, a.o. Man’ish Boy, and a duo-album, Cosmic Lieder, with pianist Matthew Shipp.
I made a RADIO-program which you can listen to ON DEMAND

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