Leaf House
  • Jeff Davis Jeff Davis
  • Eivind Opsvik Eivind Opsvik
  • Russ Lossing Russ Lossing

Jeff Davis

Leaf House

Fresh Sound New Talent

Personnel:
Jeff Davis (d), Eivind Opsvik (b), Russ Lossing (p)

Reference: FSNT-407

Bar code: 8427328424073

Tracklisting:

01. Leaf House (6:20)
02. Faded (7:56)
03. Overath (7:07)
04. Catbird (8:34)
05. Saint Albert (2:23)
06. William Jacob (7:08)
07. Transitional Whales (7:32)
08. Lion Mouth (6:48)

Total time: 53:00 min approx.

All compositions by Jeff Davis.


Personnel:

Jeff Davis (drums), Eivind Opsvik (bass), and Russ Lossing (piano).

Recorded by Tom Tedesco at Tedesco Studios, Paramus, New jersey, on April 6th, 2011.

Mixed by Eivind Opsvik at Greenwood Underground, Brooklyn, New York.

Mastered by Scott Anderson at O Lab, Brooklyn, New York.


Produced by Jeff Davis

Executive producer: Jordi Pujol

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Bio notes:

Percussionist/composer Jeff Davis has established himself in New York as a vital contributor to the local and international creative music scenes. Jeff is widely sought out for his unique, textural approach to the drum set, as well as for his power and intensity. As a featured member of a number of creative ensembles in New York, Davis has recorded for such labels as Clean Feed, Fresh Sound/New Talent, Green Leaf, Loyal Label, Jazzaway, and innova records. These ensembles include the Jesse Stacken Trio, Michael Bates Outside Sources, Kirk Knuffke Quartet, Landon Knoblock Trio/Quartet, Ben Holmes Quartet, Pascal Niggenkemper Newfield trio, Pedro Giruado Jazz Orchestra, Pete Robbins Unnamed Quartet, Jon Irabagons Outright!, Eivind Opsviks Overseas, Tone Collector(Tony Malaby, Eivind Opsvik, Jeff Davis), the RIDD Quartet, Kris Davis Quartet, and the Ryan Keberle Organ Group. In addition to these working bands, Davis has also performed with such artists as Tony Malaby, Chris Speed, Gebhard Ullmann, Brad Shepik, Ralph Alessi, and Ron Horton.

Davis has toured Europe and China and has performed at several prominent jazz festivals, including the North Sea Jazz Festival, Oslo Jazz Festival, the Vancouver Jazz Festival, and the Earshot Jazz Festival. He performs regularly in various New York listening rooms, such as the Stone, the Jazz Standard, the Jazz Gallery, Birdland, NuBlu, Barbes, Zebulon, the Knitting Factory, Joes Pub, the Iridium, and the 55-Bar.

Jeff Davis is currently leading and composing for his own ensemble, featuring New York greats Tony Barba, Kirk Knuffke, Jon Goldberger, Kris Davis, and Eivind Opsvik. This group of like minded improvisers recorded for Davis debut CD in June of 2007, and is set to be released on Tuesday, March 30th 2010 for the record label, Loyal Label. The music from this group ventures to blur the line between composition and improvisation, and highlights equally the individual soloist as well as collective improvisation. Jeff also leads a trio/quartet featuring Matt Pavolka, Oscar Noriega, and Jon Goldberger.

Originally from Greeley, Colorado, Jeff Davis began playing marimba at the age of nine and later studied classical percussion at the University of Northern Colorado. While in Colorado, Jeff had the opportunity to study and perform with ECM recording artist/pianist Art Lande and trumpet great Ron Miles. Davis holds a Masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music.

www.jeffdavisdrums.com

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Review:

"Jeff Davis has quietly emerged as one of the most consistently engaging drummers of his cohort. He
propels various improvising ensembles with textural dynamism and rhythmic inventiveness without resorting to bombast. On Leaf House, his second leader release, he composes tumultuous music for the alwayselastic piano trio form.

Joined by pianist Russ Lossing and bassist Eivind Opsvik, their familiarity begets a fearlessness essential for the musics success. Each takes chances, with the confidence that the others will react as necessary, creating eight selections that favor collective improvising over standard head-solo-head forms.

Frenetically pounding keys erupt on the title track, mirrored by halting drums and bass. The theme recedes to a freer section and, as Davis and Opsvik roam, Lossing interjects with ferocious stabs; the trio orbits the initial theme before a collective restatement in conclusion. Faded begins with a lolling sway as cascading piano and walking bass elicit propulsive drumming. Opsviks solo favors subdued dynamics while Lossing decelerates with colorful trills. The swelling bass of Overath is punctuated with percussive piano and drums tripping over the line while Lossing unfurls a fusillade over the lurching feel. An eerily atmospheric free section emerges with Davis scraping cymbal edges for metallic textures, coupled with probing bass and light piano touches.

The trio sustains moody textures for the eightplus minutes of Catbird, initiated by haunting
bowed bass. The quick roiling piano theme of Saint Albert sets up Davis extended foray and he suggests the theme while rolling around the kit. Tasteful rhythmic support props the almost romantic melodic piano line of William Jacob, which develops a sustained groove on which Lossing pounces. It dissipates for another musical turn by Davis that features dramatic tension and release. The episodic Transitional Whales moves from an ethereal passage with gestural playing that alludes to a theme to a quick explicitly stated ensemble section and never returns. Thrumming bass pushes the kinetic Lion Mouth and Opsvik sustains it for a melodically tinged solo before deconstructing to single notes. The full trio rebuilds the pace and soars to a frenzied finish."

Sean Fitzell
-The New York City Jazz Record (January, 2013)

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"Jeff Davis è tra i batteristi più richiesti della scena newyorchese e le sue collaborazioni riguardano nomi eccellenti della nuova ondata proveniente dalla grande mela quali Kirk Knuffke, Landon Knoblock, Kris Davis, Jon Irabagon, Eivind Opsvik per citarne alcuni. Davis è anche interessante compositore tant'è che il CD di debutto, We Sleep Outside, uscito per Loyal Label nel 2010, l'ha posto all'attenzione di pubblico e addetti ai lavori. Ma è questo Leaf House la prova del nove delle sue doti di scrittura, perché il piano-trio non perdona, non concede sconti, evidenzia ogni minima smagliatura presente nel processo compositivo, porta in superficie debolezze e carenze strutturali.

Davis supera la prova alla grande, licenziando un disco di livello, grazie anche alla superlativa prestazione dei suoi compagni di viaggio, a loro volta in gran confidenza con scrittura e arrangiamenti. Russ Lossing è pianista che meriterebbe molta più attenzione rispetto a quella riservatagli. Ogni suo lavoro, ogni partecipazione a dischi altrui possiedono un peso specifico davvero notevole, grazie ad un linguaggio originale che fonde la tradizione del piano jazz, la formazione classica e il gusto per la libertà da vincoli e strutture. E scolpisce lo spazio come pochi, con pennellate ferme e decise così come con eteree sequenze di note.

Opsvik fa cantare il contrabbasso in tutte le sue possibili declinazioni evidenziandone le qualità timbriche, lavorando magnificamente di archetto e facendolo suonare all'occorrenza lo strumento come una vera e propria orchestra. Davis, dal canto suo, sembra limitarsi, dalla postazione dietro piatti e cimbali, a suggerire movimenti, stimolare idee, proporre direzioni impreviste al fluire della sua musica. Che concede ampi spazi alla riflessione, prediligendo strutture aperte, pur possedendo una densità che non permette fughe liberatorie o di comodo. La ragnatela tessuta da Davis invischia piacevolmente l'ascoltatore in una rete di sollecitazioni mutevoli, che alimentano una musica di non facile ascolto ma di grande soddisfazione."

Vincenzo Roggero -All About Jazz
(Italian edition, January 2013)

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"Protagonista -batería- [...] Jeff Davis encabeza una formación desmintiendo el liderazgo que se le presupone al pianista. En la línea de los tríos de Dan Weiss -percusionista como él- o John Hébert -contrabajista-, la cualidad compositiva de un líder no pianista podría mostrar un rasgo distintivo apreciable en los dos casos mencionados. Sobre su original escritura ya dejó constancia, en una plantilla más amplia, con su excepcional anterior trabajo We Sleep Outside (Loyal Label), que mantiene ciertas conexiones tímbricas y de expresión con otro baterista fundamental en la escena actual, Tyshawn Sorey (Oblique I). En un ámbito tan acotado instrumentalmente, el planteamiento que aquí se promueve es la apertura y la interacción funcionales. El pianismo expansivo y recargado de Russ Lossing, con tendencia a la construcción atonal, concentra y dirige el mensaje hacia un lugar cercano al de sus propios tríos (Phrase 6, también en FSNT) o los de Kris Davis, con quien Jeff Davis ha participado en repetidas ocasiones, sobre todo en cuartetos (Ridd, Ray Eclipse). Nos encontramos pues con una propuesta en la que la arquitectura comulga con la concentración de motivos y también de cierta, muy escogida, descomprensión solista que introduce silencios. Una amplitud de espacios entre líneas y climas (Feldman vuelve a ser citado, pero de manera más indirecta que en Stacken) nos descubren la autonomía colectiva que opera en esta unión de fuerzas en donde la intensidad y la tensión que se desprenden se hacen palpables.

A la escucha estructural, de la que hablaba Stockhausen para referirse a una amplitud de motivos y planos auditivos que exigen mayores recursos de apreciación estética, es lo que hoy por hoy -como hemos visto desde Battaglia a Stacken, de Stenson a Carra y con mayor libertad y densidad en Davis- nos invita el arte del trío."

Jesús Gonzalo -Elintruso.com (Abril, 2013)

Price:

$12.04  (tax incl.)

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