Tag Archives: kris davis

Free Jazz review by Stefan Wood

CF 292Kris Davis Trio – Waiting for You to Grow (CF 292)
Kris Davis is a pianist hailing from Vancouver, currently residing in New York, and has been garnering praise for her creatively adventurous work in the NY music scene. She is influenced by Cecil Taylor, but stylistically covers a wide range, from jazz standards to minimalist works. Waiting for You to Grow is her latest effort on Clean Feed, the Portuguese based label that is at the forefront for contemporary improvised music. It is a trio session, with John Herbert on bass and Tom Rainey on drums.

“Whirly Swirly” opens the album with a military style drum solo from Rainey, before the others come in and counter with a seemingly disjointed and angular response, piano keys banging and bass plucking like industrial machines. It moves from this to a minimal soundscape where piano keys are struck almost in silence, bass strings bowing with a low shrill, before eventually building back up to a heavy and fervent percussive conclusion by all three artists. “Twice Escaped” is a little more straightforward, with Davis leading the way with intricate piano notes that grab the listener with its seemingly repetitive manner but is drawing a more complex soundscape. “Berio,” (a reference to Italian composer Luciano Berio) is a track that begins with a contemplative mood highlighted by Herbert’s bass playing, that moves toward a tension between piano and drums, that begins slow but builds speed, as Davis embarks a series of flutters and flurries that Rainey responds to with more active drum work. It is a high point on the album. “Hiccups” is another delightful track, piano notes darting in and out, descriptive of the title, while bass and drums provide ample support, propelling the music towards a very fluid and boppish course and conclusion. “Propaganda and Chiclets” begins with an agitated trio setting, as all three musicians create a light but low rolling thunderous moment, building in intensity but dissipating just before reaching pure noise and chaos, retreating back towards a more contemplative mood. “Waiting for You to Grow,” is a low key mood piece, Davis tastefully working with the almost silence with delicate keyword, bass and drums embellishing and adding more dimension. It is a beautiful track and ends the album on a very high note.

The album is excellent overall, again displaying Davis’ skills and original improvisations. Recommended.


Free Jazz Best of 2014

Albums of the Year – 2014
So another year and another 1500 albums considered for review (and that’s just the ones we actually added to the list!). Taking a quick look back: this year Julian, Matthew, Chris, Ed, Antonio, Stefan, Josh, and Hugo joined the review team and we recently welcomed Eyal and Alfonso – you’ll be seeing more of them soon. 2014 also saw Martin Schray bringing the Free Jazz Blog to the air on SWR2, public radio in southern Germany. His next show is on the 9th of January (stay tuned for more info on that!). Finally, thanks to all of you, we’re seeing upwards of 75,000 page views a month and have a growing subscriber base … all we can (and should) say is thank you everyone and keep listening!

And now here it is … our hotly anticipated top ten list of albums of the year, tallied and calculated from the collective’s personal top 10 album choices (listed below):

The Free Jazz Collective Top-10 albums of 2014

1.Steve Lehman Octet – Mise en Abîme
2.Akira Sakata, Johan Berthling, Paal Nilssen-Love – Arashi
3.Jemeel Moondoc – The Zookeeper’s House
4.Angles 9 – Injuries (CF 303)
5.Audio One – An International Report
6.Farmers By Nature – Love and Ghosts
7.Ken Vandermark/Paal Nilssen-Love Duo – Lightning Over Water
8.Marc Ribot Trio – Live at the Village Vanguard
9.Wadada Leo Smith – The Great Lakes Suites
10.Jeremiah Cymerman – Pale Horse / Lotte Anker & Jakob Riis – Squid Police

Troy Dostert
CF 292

1.Steve Lehman Octet, Mise en Abîme
2.Marty Ehrlich Large Ensemble – Trumpet in the Morning
3.Franco D’Andrea Sextet – Monk and the Time Machine
4.Kris Davis Trio – Waiting for You to Grow (CF 292)
5.Ivo Perelman – The Other Edge
6.Ken Vandermark/Paal Nilssen-Love Duo – Lightning Over Water
7.Peter Van Huffel – Boom Crane
8.Angles 9 – Injuries
9.Max Johnson – Invisible Trio
10.Audio One – An International Report

Julian Eidenberger

1.Akira Sakata, Johan Berthling, Paal Nilssen-Love – Arashi
2.Kyle Bruckmann’s Wrack – … Awaits Silent Tristero’s Empire
3.Steve Lehman Octet – Mise en Abîme
4.Anthony Braxton, Tom Rainey, Tomas Fujiwara – Trio New Haven 2013
5.Audio One – An International Report
6.Many Arms with Colin Fisher – Suspended Definition
7.Lean Left – Live at Area Sismica
8.Joe Morris Quartet – Balance (CF 306)
9.Yoni Kretzmer, Pascal Niggenkemper, Weasel Walter – Protest Music
10.Wadada Leo Smith, Jamie Saft, Joe Morris, Balázs Pándi – Red Hill

Matthew Grigg
CF300LPSHH 010
1.Pharoah & the Underground – Spiral Mercury/Primative Jupiter (CF 300)
2.Audio One – An International Report/The Midwest School
3.Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble – Xenogenesis II: Intergalactic Beings
4.Nate Wooley, Hugo Antunes, Chris Corsano – Malus
5.Thurston Moore, Gabriel Ferrandini, Pedro Sousa – Live at ZDB (SHH 010)
6.Peter Evans Quintet – Destination:Void
7.Broetzmann, Adasiewicz, Edwards, Noble – Mental Shake
8.Roscoe Mitchell/Mike Reed – In Pursuit of Magic
9.Jason Ajemain, Tony Malaby, Rob Mazurek, Chad Taylor – A Way A Land of Life
10.Marc Ribot Trio – Live at the Village Vanguard

Chris Haines
CF306CF295  CF2941.Joe Morris Quartet – Balance (CF 306)
2.Sei Miguel – Salvation Modes (CF 295)
3.Eric Revis – In Memory of Things Yet Seen (CF 294)
4.Jakob Thorkild Trio – Art Sleaze
5.Tisziji Munoz – Star Worlds
6.Ken Aldcroft – Threads 10/09/11
7.Marc Ribot – Live at the Village Vanguard
8.Andymusic – Heavydance
9.Tomas Fujiwara Trio – Variable Bets
10.Tellef Ogrim & Anders Berg – November

Antonio Poscic

1.Wadada Leo Smith – The Great Lakes Suites
2.Steve Lehman Octet – Mise en Abîme
3.DKV Trio – Sound in Motion in Sound
4.Farmers By Nature – Love and Ghosts
5.Lotte Anker & Jakob Riis – Squid Police
6.Jeremiah Cymerman – Pale Horse
7.Angles 9 – Injuries (CF 303)
8.Tyshawn Sorey Trio – Alloy
9.Zion 80 – Adramelech: Book of Angels, Vol. 22
10.Jemeel Moondoc – The Zookeeper’s House

Dan Sorrells
1.Daunik Lazro, Benjamin Duboc, Didier Lassere – Sens Radiants
2.Wacław Zimpel To Tu Orchestra – Nature Moves
3.Benjamin Duboc – St. James Infirmary
4.Zanussi Five – Live in Coimbra (CF 314)
5.Angles 9 – Injuries (CF 303)
6.Max Johnson, Ingrid Laubrock, Mat Maneri, Tomas Fujiwara – The Prisoner
7.Keir Neuringer – Ceremonies Out of the Air
8.Jeremiah Cymerman, Evan Parker, Nate Wooley – World of Objects
9.RED Trio & Mattias Ståhl – North and the Red Stream
10.Michael Francis Duch – Tomba Emmanuelle

Hugo Truyens
1.De Beren Gieren & Susana Santos Silva – The Detour Fish (CF 317)
2.1000 + 1 – Butterfly Garden
3.East of the Sun – ICP Orchestra
4.Os Meus Shorts – Os Meus Shorts II
5.Sylvain Rifflet & Jon Irabagon – Perpetual Motion (A Celebration of Moondog)
6.Baloni – Belleke (CF 305)
7.Ideal Bread Beating The Teens – Songs Of Steve Lacy
8.Franco D’Andrea Sextet – Monk and the Time Machine
9.Marc Ribot Trio – Live at the Village Vanguard
10.Sylvie Courvoisier – Mark Feldman Quartet Birdies for Lulu


Tom Hull – On The Web Best of 2014 list by Tom Hull

The Best Jazz Albums of 2014

1.Steve Lehman Octet: Mise en Abîme (Pi)
2.Duduvudu: The Gospel According to Dudu Pukwana (Edgetone)
3.Paul Shapiro: Shofarot Verses (Tzadik)
4.Revolutionary Snake Ensemble: Live Snakes (Accurate)
5.Digital Primitives: Lipsomuch/Soul Searchin’ (Hopscotch, 2CD)

CF3136.Velkro: Don’t Wait for the Revolution (Clean Feed)
7.Ivo Perelman: The Other Edge (Leo)
8.Rent Romus’ Life’s Blood Ensemble: Cimmerian Crossroads (Edgetone)

CF 2929.Kris Davis Trio: Waiting for You to Grow (Clean Feed)
10.Craig Handy: Craig Handy & 2nd Line Smith (Okeh)
11.Allen Lowe: Mulatto Radio: Field Recordings: 1-4 (Constant Sorrow, 4CD)
12.Farmers by Nature: Love and Ghosts (AUM Fidelity, 2CD)
13.Waclaw Zimpel To Tu Orchestra: Nature Moves (Fortune)
14.Jonas Kullhammar: Gentlemen (2014, Moserobie)
15.Regina Carter: Southern Comfort (Sony Masterworks)

CF 29316.Jonas Kullhammar/Torbjörn Zetterberg/Espen Aalberg: Basement Sessions Vol. 2 (Clean Feed)
17.Rich Halley 4: The Wisdom of Rocks (Pine Eagle)
18.Ben Flocks: Battle Mountain (self-released)
19.Peter Van Huffel/Michael Bates/Jeff Davis: Boom Crane (Fresh Sound New Talent)
20.John Hollenbeck/Alban Darche/Sébastien Boisseau/Samuel Blaser: JASS (Yolk)
21.Barbara Morrison: I Love You, Yes I Do (Savant)
22.Mary Halvorson/Michael Formanek/Tomas Fujiwara: Thumbscrew (Cuneiform)
23.Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord: Liverevil (Hot Cup, 2CD)
24.Bobby Avey: Authority Melts From Me (Whirlwind)
25.Wadada Leo Smith/Jamie Saft/Joe Morris/Balasz Pandi: Red Hill (Rare Noise)
26.Free Nelson Mandoomjazz: The Shape of Doomjazz to Come/Saxophone Giganticus (RareNoise)
27.Dave Douglas/Chet Doxas/Steve Swallow/Jim Doxas: Riverside (Greenleaf Music)
28.François Carrier/Michel Lambert/Alexey Lapin: The Russian Concerts (FMR)
29.Joachim Kühn/Alexey Kruglov: Duo Art: Moscow (ACT)
30.Tom Rainey: Obbligato (Intakt)
31.Catherine Russell: Bring It Back (Jazz Village)
32.Michael Blake: Tiddy Boom (2014, Sunnyside)
33.Anne Waldman: Jaguar Harmonics (Fast Speaking Music)
CF29434.Eric Revis: In Memory of Things Yet Seen (Clean Feed)
35.Jason Ajemian: Folklords (Delmark)
36.Sonny Simmons/Delphine Latil/Thomas Bellier: Beyond the Planets (Improvising Beings, 2CD)
37.The Mark Lomax Trio: Isis & Osiris (Inarhyme)

CF29738.Rodrigo Amado: Wire Quartet (Clean Feed)
39.The Core Trio: The Core Trio With Matthew Shipp (self-released)
40.Mike DiRubbo: Threshold (Ksanti)
41.Michael Griener/Rudi Mahall/Jan Roder/Christof Thewes: Squakk: Willisau & Berlin (Intakt)

CF30742.Adam Lane’s Full Throttle Orchestra: Live in Ljubljana (Clean Feed)
43.Sonny Rollins: Road Shows: Volume 3 (2001-12, Okeh)
44.Marlene VerPlanck: I Give Up, I’m in Love (Audiophile)
45.Ivo Perelman/Karl Berger: Reverie (Leo)
46.The Microscopic Septet: Manhattan Moonrise (Cuneiform)
47.Audio One: An International Report (Audiographic)
48.Billy Bang/William Parker: Medicine Buddha (2009 [2014], NoBusiness)
49.The Young Mothers: A Mothers Work Is Never Done (Tektite)
50.Kali Z. Fasteau: Piano Rapture (Flying Note)
51.Andy Biskin Ibid: Act Necessary (Strudelmedia)
52.William Hooker & Liudas Mockunas: Live at the Vilnius Jazz Festival (NoBusiness)

CF31453.Zanussi 5: Live in Coimbra (Clean Feed)
54.Marcin Wasilewski Trio w/Joakim Milder: Spark of Life (ECM)
55.Ezra Weiss Sextet: Before You Know It: Live in Portland (Roark)
56.Assif Tsahar/Gerry Hemingway/Mark Dresser: Code Re(a)d (Hopscotch)
57.Noah Preminger: Background Music (Fresh Sound New Talent)
58.Richard Galliano: Sentimentale (Resonance)
CF309CD59.Cortex: Live! (Clean Feed)
60.Greg Abate Quartet: Motif (Whaling City Sound)
61.Sam Newsome: The Straight Horn of Africa: A Path to Liberation [The Art of the Soprano, Vol. 2] (self-released)
62.Vijay Iyer: Mutations (ECM)
63.Dave Burrell/Steve Swell: Turning Point NoBusiness)
64.Wadada Leo Smith: The Great Lakes Suites (TUM, 2CD)
65.Lajos Dudas Quartet: Live at Salzburger Jazzherbst (Jazz Sick -13)
CF312CD66.Luis Lopes Lisbon Berlin Trio: The Line (Clean Feed)
67.Moskus: Mestertyven (Hubro)
68.James Brandon Lewis: Divine Travels (Okeh)


Wondering Sound Best of 2014 list by Staff Contributor

To outsiders, jazz has the tendency to seem like an ossified genre — “serious” records for “serious” people, with anything significant having happened decades ago. If you needed any more proof that this thinking is absolutely ridiculous, this list is it. Here are 25 records from artists that are bold, brash, exciting and forward-thinking, unafraid of flirting with other genres, but reconfiguring them into something new and daring. The 25 Best Jazz Albums of 2014 represent the vanguard of contemporary music, pushing things forward one note at a time.

25. Rafael Karlen – The Sweetness of Things Half-Remembered (Pinnacles Music / CD Baby)
CF30324. Angles 9 – Injuries (Clean Feed)
23. The Cookers – Time and Time Again (Motema Music,Llc / Entertainment One Distribution)
22. Tyshawn Sorey Trio – Alloy (Pi Recordings)
21. Jane Ira Bloom – Sixteen Sunsets (Pure Audio)
20. Get the Blessing – Lope and Antilope (Naim Jazz / The Orchard)
19. Sam Newsome – The Straight Horn of Africa: A Path of Liberation (CD Baby)
18. Omer Avital – New Song (Motema Music,Llc / Entertainment One Distribution)
17. Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash Duo – Duologue (MCG Jazz)
16. The Bad Plus – The Rite of Spring (Masterworks)
15. John Ellis & Andy Bragen – MOBRO (MRI / The Orchard)
14. The Westerlies – Wish the Children Would Come On Home (Songlines Recordings / The Orchard)
13. Darius Jones and Matthew Shipp, Cosmic Lieder – The Darkseid Recital (AUM Fidelity / Virtual)
12. Billy Hart Quartet – One Is the Other (ECM)
11. Miguel Zenon – Identities Are Changeable (Miel Music / CD Baby)
10. Farmers By Nature – Love and Ghosts (AUM Fidelity / Virtual)
CF 2929. Kris Davis Trio – Waiting for You to Grow (Clean Feed)
8. Orrin Evans’ Captain Black Big Band – Mother’s Touch (Posi-Tone Records / The Orchard)
7. Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio – Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio (Concord)
6. Oliver Lake Organ Quartet – What I Heard (Passin’ Thru)
5. Mitchell/Taborn/Baku – Conversations II (Wide Hive Records)
CF3014. Pharoah & the Underground – Spiral Mercury (Clean Feed)
3. Trio 3 With Vijay Iyer – Wiring (Intakt)
2. Sean Jones – Im•pro•vise (Never Before Seen) (Mack Avenue / The Orchard)
1. Steve Lehman Octet – Mise en Abime (Pi Recordings)


Chicago Reader Best of 2014 list by Peter Margasak

My favorite jazz albums of 2014
Today NPR Music posted the results of the annual jazz critics poll organized by Francis Davis. In years past the poll ran in the Village Voice and the online music service Rhapsody. Steve Lehman’s impressive Mise En Abîme (Pi) landed in the top spot this year. You can check out the full results, including categories for best reissue, Latin jazz recording, debut, and vocal album here. I’ve included the ballot I submitted for this year’s poll below.

Top 10 Albums:
1. David Virelles, Mbokó (ECM)
2. Ambrose Akinmusire, The Imagined Savior is Far Easier to Paint (Blue Note)
3. Wadada Leo Smith, The Great Lakes Suites (TUM)
4. Jason Roebke Octet, High/Red/Center (Delmark)
5. Hush Point, Blues and Reds (Sunnyside)
6. Tyshawn Sorey, Alloy (Pi)
7. Tom Rainey, Obbligato (Intakt)
CF 2898. Matt Bauder & Day in Pictures, Nightshades (Clean Feed)
9. Michael Blake, Tiddy Boom (Sunnyside)
10. Jason Adasiewicz’s Sun Rooms, From the Region (Delmark)


Magnet’s Best of 2014 list by Bill Meyers

Magnet’s Bill Meyer picks the best jazz/improv releases of the year

1 Kyle Bruckmann’s Wrack …Awaits Silent Tristero’s Empire (Singlespeed)
2 Brötzmann Adasiewicz Edwards Noble Mental Shake (Otoroku)
3 AMM Place Sub. V. (Matchless)
CF 2894 Matt Bauder And Day In Pictures Nightshades (Clean Feed)
5 Rob Mazurek Mother Ode (Corbett Vs. Dempsey)
6 Russ Johnson Meeting Point (Relay)
7 Cymerman Wooley Parker World Of Objects (5049)
8 Steve Lehman Octet Mise En Abîme (Pi)
9 Keir Neuringer Ceremonies Of The Air (New Atlantis)
10 Travis Laplante’s Battle Trance Palace Of Wind (New Amsterdam)


Le Son du Grisli review by Guillaume Belhomme

CF 289Matt Bauder and Day in Picture – Nightshades (CF 289)
En ces temps de Blue Note Revival, écouter Matt Bauder creuser en profondeur les vieilles symétries n’est pas pour me déplaire. Et ne pas voir en lui l’un des musiciens les plus investis du moment en dit assez long quant à l’imbécilité de la jazzopshère.

C’est que Matt Bauder possède plus d’une corde à son arc. Ici, dans ce territoire vaguement sixtie-Blue Note, il conteste le copier-coller et fonde ses interventions sur des tumultes que n’atteindront jamais les (très) surévalués petits princes des revues en papier glacé. Car Bauder sait comment ériger un chorus et comment troubler les cadres. Et c’est aussi ce que sait faire un Nate Wooley, trompettiste aux courbes ruades. Et tandis que Kris Davis (remplaçant ici Angelica Sanchez) impulse quelque harmonie mensongère, Jason Ajemian et Tomas Fujiwara érigent quelques imposantes cathédrales. Viennent alors à nos oreilles cette science des temps mêlés. Temps mêlés et jamais scellés.


Jazz.pt review by Nuno Catarino

CF 292Kris Davis Trio – Waiting for You to Grow (CF 292)
Kris Davis é uma pianista discreta que domina todos os recursos e ferramentas, utilizando-os inteligentemente, com moderação e sem espalhafato. Vem desenvolvendo um percurso curioso, trabalhando diferentes formatos em frentes distintas. Além dos seus discos a solo, há que destacar o recente “Capricorn Climber” (gravado em quinteto) e esse outro trio que é o grupo Paradoxical Frog, com Ingrid Laubrock (saxofone) e Tyshawn Sorey (bateria).

Neste novo álbum, Kris Davis regressa ao trio clássico de piano, na companhia de John Hébert no contrabaixo e Tom Rainey na bateria. Este é já o segundo disco do projecto, depois de ter editado o primeiro, “Good Citizen”, pela “label” espanhola Fresh Sound em 2010. Dois dos mais requisitados “sidemen” da cena americana, Hébert e Rainey acrescentam aqui a sua segurança e a sua criatividade. Ao piano, Davis combina a matriz jazz com referências clássicas, mantendo a porta aberta à improvisação.

A composição e a gravação desta obra decorreram no período em que se encontrava grávida do seu primeiro filho, pelo que esta música representa um lado mais pessoal da sua actividade (factor esse que está desde logo expresso no título do álbum, “Waiting for You to Grow”). Apesar dessa premissa, a música não se afasta muito dos elementos que caracterizam habitualmente a música de Davis.

O CD arranca numa toada pontilhístico-monkiana, depois abranda o ritmo e termina num interessante “midtempo” com diversos ambientes, designado por “Whirly Swirly”. O tema-título “Waiting for You to Grow” é aquele em que a pianista consegue expressar sentimento de forma mais clara: assente numa pensada lentidão, primeiro dando autonomia a Hébert e depois assumindo a intensidade melódica, a melodia é sublinhada pelo arco do contrabaixo, por cima das escovas de Rainey.

Com “Berio”, terceiro tema (atenção ao apontamento referencial do título), a música arranca de forma lenta, para depois evoluir para um terreno “cerebral”. Este termo é, aliás, frequentemente associado à pianista, e não sem razão. A sua música é quase sempre articulada de forma complexa, evitando caminhos fáceis ou directos. Este disco não é excepção.


Time Out review by José Carlos Fernandes

CF 289Matt Bauder and Day in Picture – Nightshades (CF 289)
O segundo disco do quinteto Day In Pictures do saxofonista Matt Bauder prossegue a rota da estreia: revisitação criativa do hard bop do início dos anos 60. A formação (de luxo) mantém Nate Wooley, Jason Ajemian e Tomas Fujiwara, mas Kris Davis toma o lugar de Angelica Sanchez – o que significa um piano mais seco e percussivo.

A maior surpresa está logo na abertura, pois o encantatório “Octavia Minor” desvia-se dos ambientes hard bop e remete para o Ethio-jazz de inflexões latinas de Mulatu Astatke, ainda que o desconcertante solo de Davis (não contem com ele para fazer o que é previsível) deixe o aviso: os Day in Pictures não estão aqui para fazer pastiches. “Weekly resolution” regressa ao terreno usual do quinteto e retoma, em variante moderna, a faceta mais escaldante dos Jazz Messengers – mas o adstringente e cásutico solo de trompete (as intervenções de Nate Wooley são consistentemente inspiradas, tomem elas um registo mais “clássico” ou mais heterodoxo) e o denso solo de bateria sustentado por um piano minimal-obsessivo lembram que os tempos são outros. “Starr Wykoff” é uma balada “à maneira antiga”, tocada com aprumo e sinceridade e que serve para calar os sectores conservadores que crêem que a nova geração pratica um jazz “esdrúxulo” porque são incompetentes para tocar “como deve ser”. O CD encerra com “Nightshades”, uma marcha jovial, luminosa e bluesy, com Wooley e Bauder em diálogo cúmplice – alguma afinidade com a música de Harris Eisenstadt não será mera coincidência, já que Wooley e Bauder são parceiros recorrentes de Eisentsadt.

Quem seja dado a catalogações que se entretenha a escolher se isto é jazz “modernista” ou “tradicionalista”.

Point of Departure review by Troy Collins

CF 289Matt Bauder and Day in Pictures – Nightshades (CF 289)
Nightshades is the most accessible offering to date in Brooklyn-based tenor saxophonist Matt Bauder’s burgeoning discography. Brimming with nostalgic melodies, rich harmonies and elastic rhythms, the highly appealing session shares more than a passing resemblance to classic records issued by Blue Note in the 1960s, recalling a time when jazz still reigned as the popular music of the day.

Following in the footsteps of the group’s 2010 self-titled Clean Feed debut, Bauder’s Day in Pictures continues to explore intricate structural nuances of the post-bop continuum, hemming ever closer to conventional forms. Enjoying the support of a fairly stable lineup, Bauder is once again joined by trumpeter Nate Wooley, bassist Jason Ajemian and drummer Tomas Fujiwara, while pianist Kris Davis takes the place of Angelica Sanchez. Davis’ appearance is noteworthy; where Sanchez brought a penchant for expansive contrapuntal harmony to the group, Davis takes a more focused, linear approach, offering a profusion of melodic invention in her brisk, chromatic delivery.

Davis’ quicksilver pianism meshes well with Ajemian’s supple bass lines and Fujiwara’s spirited kit-work; their skillful interplay yields a modulating undercurrent of melodic, harmonic and rhythmic activity that inspires daring excursions from the versatile frontline. As one of the key young masters of new trumpet technique, Wooley makes a fitting foil for the leader, underscoring Bauder’s sinuous refrains with coruscating asides tempered by an increasingly sophisticated lyricism. Bauder reveals a diverse array of expressionism, whether waxing romantic on the lush ballad “Starr Wykoff,” swinging with full-throated verve through the second line-infused title track, or plying nervy multiphonics on more assertive fare like “Rule of Thirds.”

Although the material on Nightshades is stylistically similar to the quintet’s previous effort, each tune investigates slightly different territory, ranging from the slinky deconstructed bossa nova groove of “Octavia Minor” to the collective New Thing-inspired rapture of “August and Counting.” The duration of each piece hovers around the ten minute mark, allowing individual members time to extrapolate on Bauder’s melody-rich themes.

In direct contrast to some of his more experimental projects, like Memorize The Sky, the material performed by Day in Pictures highlights Bauder’s most conventionally jazz-oriented writing. The end result is a historically aware exploration of the tenuous divide between freedom and form – a bold, but beautiful album.