Kris Davis - Aeriol Piano

Kris Davis — Aeriol Piano

Clean Feed Records, 2011

Kris Davis’ avant-garde jazz is, in a sense, about space. It’s about the gaps between notes, the open-endedness of a rest and of free improvisation. Aeriol Piano is both abstract and imagistic, creating beautiful textures that cohere around a central sparseness, as well as Davis’ governing respect for space.

RIYD: Keith Jarrett (Köln Concert), Bill Evans, freeform jazz piano


1. All The Things You Are — ●●●● Classical-inspired free jazz, emphasis on the atonal.

2. Saturn Return — ●●●● Shimmering, ultralow notes form the backbone of this intense piece. Hammers speed up and feel increasingly percussive as it progresses.

3. A Different Kind Of Sleep — ●●●●● Gorgeously sparse, icy notes with tons of sustain.

4. Good Citizen — ●●● Quick, urgent arpeggios and subtly varying tonalities.

5. Beam The Eyes — ●●●● Like a super abstract take on Guaraldi’s “Linus and Lucy”. Abstract Peanuts.

6. Stone — ●●●●● Beautiful little composition here, feels almost Steve Reich-ish in its emphasis on repetition.

7. The Last Time — ●●● A slow build, dealing with the ultrahigh and ultralow. Lots of tension, lots of negative space.

8. Work For Water — ●●●●● Slow, delicate beauty.

Will Gottsegen