Eric Revis – Sing Me Some Cry (Clean Feed)
Bassist Eric Revis’ seventh release as a leader, the intense and provocative Sing Me Some Cry, is a superb showcase of collective creativity. Not only did members of Revis’ quartet compose tunes that fit well within the album’s thematic structure, but their spontaneous synergy also brings a sublime balance of elegance and passion to the music.
Short, crisp hypnotic refrains build a crystalline harmonic structure on the Revis composition “PT 44.” The restless progression of these sharp sonic fragments generates a gripping tension. As the rhythmic framework becomes freer and more rousing, saxophonist and clarinetist Ken Vandermark lets loose with a barrage of fiery lines. Group-play evolves into a delightfully dissonant and thrilling ensemble improvisation. Drummer Chad Taylor’s martial beats seamlessly usher in the concluding head.
From the otherworldly and angst-filled title track to the lyrical and “traditional” conclusion of the final piece, “Glyph,” the inventive momentum never slackens, even as moods and atmospheres vary. On the poetic “Solstice …. The Girls (for Max & Xixi),” Revis’ resonant, reverberant notes, together with Taylor’s understated rumble and pianist Kris Davis’ eerie string manipulations, set an ethereal, mystical ambiance. Davis performs a tender, Eastern-influenced melody as Vandermark’s vivid organic phrases soar over his bandmates’ dramatic exchanges.
Revis opens Davis’ “Rye Eclipse” with a contemplative solo. Taylor’s galloping thrums echo Davis’ percussive chords, as the haunting vamps intensify and grow riotous. Meanwhile, Vandermark’s wistful, ardent wails lend a plaintive edge to the captivating four-way conversation.
Sing Me Some Cry is Revis’ most cohesive work to date. Its intricate design enthralls, its unbridled energy thrills, and the music remains refreshingly accessible. In short, it stands as a testament to Revis’ ingenuity.
— Hrayr Attarian