Last night a Cornish College, Earshot Jazz presented Kris Davis and her trio. The Vancouver-raised pianist, who has just won a prestigious Doris Duke Impact Award, appeared with drummer Tom Rainey and bassist John Hébert, and performied her darkly energetic, nuanced compositions which were mesmerizing.
Pianist and composer Kris Davis has developed a reputation as one of the most buzzed-about jazz artists in recent years, noted for her hard-to-pin-down stylistic profile, which encompasses jazz standards, rock rhythms, Cecil Taylor-esque free explorations, contemporary avant-chamber music, and bracing minimalism. Davis has built up a sizable coterie of fans and boosters among the public and peers alike, including piano maverick Jason Moran, who called her “a freethinking, gifted pianist on the scene.” With her depth of skill and considerable experience in multiple musical worlds, Davis has been in high demand, and has performed with a “who’s who” of multiple creative music circles, including Paul Motian, Andrew Cyrille, Tim Berne, Bill Frisell, John Hollenbeck, Michael Formanek, Ralph Alessi, and Mary Halvorson.

Other collaborations notwithstanding, Davis is particularly impressive when fronting the nimble and long-standing trio she will bring to the Earshot Jazz Festival. Featuring bassist John Hébert and the endlessly inventive drummer Tom Rainey, the band’s patient, probing, and thoughtfully deliberate yet free approach to trio improvisation is a wonder to hear. The trio shines on their 2014 album, Waiting for You to Grow, and their interplay and connection has only deepened since the recording. This is a vital and necessary show for all fans of the ever-expanding world of adventurous piano trios






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