Eric Revis – In Memory of Things Yet Seen (CF 294)
As a bassist and bandleader, Eric Revis knows the trick to making heady abstractions feel like blunt physical facts, negotiable only on their own terms. Over the last decade, he has been a good indicator of smart ensemble cohesion — if he’s there, you can trust that it’ll happen — and he brings that ability to his new album, “In Memory of Things Yet Seen” (Clean Feed), featuring a knockabout quartet with Darius Jones on alto saxophone, Bill McHenry on tenor saxophone and Chad Taylor on drums.
A pair of pieces from the avant-garde jazz repertory, by Sun Ra and Sunny Murray, declares the album’s core allegiance. And in Mr. Revis’s compact but eventful tunes, the two saxophones are used to produce all kinds of useful friction, either in convergence or counterpoint. Adding to the stir on a couple of tracks is Branford Marsalis, in whose band Mr. Revis regularly plays. Here, he’s one more dauntless saxophonist jostling for position, and jostling well.