Kris Davis – “Diatom Ribbons” (Pyroclastic Records, 2019)

“Diatom Ribbons” is a new album recently recorded by group of great jazz masters. All musicians are the central figures of international avant-garde jazz scene – their music is bright, exciting and fresh. The main elements of experimental and avant-garde jazz are chosed as a fundament of the compositions. The musicians like to get on ambitious experiments, tremendous culminations, sparkling riffs and integrate radical, provocative, interesting and original musical decisions. A music of this album was recorded by Esperanza Spalding (voice), JD Allen (tenor saxophone), Tony Malaby (tenor saxophone), Ches Smith (vibraphone), Nels Cline (guitar), Marc Ribot (guitar), Trevor Dunn (electric bass), Val Jeanty (turntable), Terri Lyne Carrington (drums) and Kris Davis (piano).

Innovative avant-garde jazz, the roots of 1960’s jazz, sonoristic experiments, special effects and nice combo of electronics and acoustics – that’s the main base of the compositions. “Diatom Ribbons” is full of bright contrasts, expressive improvisations and remarkable melodies. The music has a bright contrasting and polyphonic melody section, dynamic explosing rhythmic section, gorgeous background full of illustrative coloristics, strange timbres, special effects and all kinds of textures, patterns and ornaments. The main priority is given to experiments on instrumental section – researches of strange timbres, expansion of traditional sound’s zone, fascinating sonoristic experiments, experimental, home-made, specific and original ways of playing are the main elements of innovative and exciting instrumental section. A wide range of tunes, timbres, expressions and playing techniques is detected. Musicians are using their masterful virtuosity, inventive point of view, creativity, wild fantasy and original decisions to make an incredible and exclusive sound. Vocalisation gently fits together with wide abilities of bright emotional reeds, dynamic guitars and expressive piano. All these instruments contain the main base of the melody line. Tenor saxophones are the sources of energy and drive. Expressive free improvisations filled with dynamic struggling, thrilling or shocking musical decisions are the main keys of it. Improvisers find the balance between their own ways of playing, drastic changes, provocative, radical and interesting decisions and classical playing techniques related to contemporary academical music. Sudden moods changes are frequently used – vibrant sharp and frantic culminations go down to calm lullabies, meditative pieces, minimalistic samples, playful, light, length, childish, vivid and passionate solos or get on roaring blow outs and full blasts of energy. Saxophones bring vividness, life and drive to the music. Guitars are highly contrasting to the saxophones. Its heavy riffs meet deep solemn solos, flow on remarkable expressive melodies, gentle tiny ornaments, strange timbres, sonoristic experiments, spontaneous free improvisations, exclusive culminations or meditative peaceful contemplations. A music also is balancing between free improvisation and contemporary academical music – all these elements gently fit together. Piano improvisations keep the basics of the melody and harmonic pattern. A masterful virtuosity, splendid playing technique, effective and expressive playing style, inspiring sound and unpredictable surprises – that’s the base of these improvisations. Remarkable terrific solos are played in open form and accompagnied by wide range of timbres and sounds. Expressive driving sessions meet frantic sequences, full blasts of energy, brilliant flowing passages, transcendental ornaments, monotonic steady chords or any other elements gently integrated to musical pattern. Piano is the soul of the melody line – it’s moody, impressive and driving improvisations are filled with joy, passion, expression and excitement to create something thrilling and new. Original, wide and innovative vocal’s abilities also were demonstrated here – voice improvisations are filled with experimental, specific and interesting ways of playing, hollows, whispers, squeals and all other kinds of elements. That gorgeously illustrates whole melody line. This great combo of reeds, guitars, voice and piano makes an astonishing, bright and independent melody line. Deep, stable and meditative bass line is made by electric bass. It’s gently corresponsing to solemn solos, minimalistic pieces, dramatic risings, vibrant culminations, special effects, strange timbres, coloristics, sonoristic experiments and turntables tunes. Drone, glitch, ambient, dub, cuts, special effects, computer and electronics devices sounds, amplifications, synth tunes and other similar elements are extracted by turntables. Electric bass and turntables makes an effective and original sound. Rhythmic section is created by drums and additionally illustrated by vibraphones. Frantic beats, expressive complicated bebop, dynamic contrasting and aggressive hard bop, extravagant modern jazz rhythmic series are going straight on bright explosing culminations, dramatic vibrant riffs, breaking pertirbations, driving sessions and full blasts of energy. Gentle, light, colorful and sensible vibraphones are used as the coloristics and bring a passionate, lyrical and sensible sound. The music of this album has an inspiring, exciting and expressive sound.

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