The Squid's Ear Magazine


Borderlands Trio (Stephan Crump / Kris Davis / Eric Mcpherson): Rewilder [2 CDs] (Intakt)

Seven years into their collaboration, the creative and innovative piano trio initiated by bassist Stephan Crump with pianist Kris Davis and drummer Eric McPherson explore spontaneous free playing on a double CD of lyrically inclined, inventive interplay, borrowing from jazz, contemporary forms and sometimes funky grooves with a patiently rewarding approach to conversation.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Stephan Crump-acoustic bass

Kris Davis-piano

Eric McPherson-drums


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UPC: 7640120194161

Label: Intakt
Catalog ID: INT416
Squidco Product Code: 34771

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2024
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels w/ booklet
Recorded at Big Orange Sheep, in Brooklyn, New York, on May 24th, 2023, by Chris Benham with Cat Evers.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"With Kris Davis, Stephan Crump and Eric McPherson, the Borderlands Trio unites three great personalities who have grown together to form a trio full of the magic of their own sound and fine grooves.

Brooklyn bassist Stephan Crump initiated the band and has kept it together for seven years. The two previous CD releases were praised by jazz critics. The band knows no rush. Developments build up cautiously, moods change slowly and intensify. This music takes its time to explore the subtle nuances of a patient and generous musical dialog.

Rewilder, their new double album, is further proof that the classical piano trio in the hands of Stephan Crump, Kris Davis and Eric McPherson holds a world of vast possibilities, revealing the adventures of improvisation, the bliss of free play"-Intakt



"The Borderlands Trio, a unit co-led by resourceful musicians and established figures in the creative music world such as bassist Stephan Crump, pianist Kris Davis, and drummer Eric McPherson, is adept at amorphous, often knotty musical settings that sound natural to the ear. Their third release, a double album called Rewilder, is marked by assured improvised frameworks built with freedom and patience, and with a penchant for nuance and subtlety. Drawing spontaneously from a wide musical palette that spans avant-garde jazz, modern classical, experimental chamber music, and even world fusion, the trio crafts mesmerizing sonic tapestries.

The opener, "Cyclops Mountain", starts off languidly, immersed in a rubato introduction before delving into intriguing grooves and motions. Piano motifs succeed one after the other, and folk melodies appear here and there over hazy bass walks and rattling percussion. "Axolotl" follows suit, initially somber and contemplative - centered on bowed bass and prepared piano with a vibing, percussive trait - before transitioning into melodic and harmonic clarity.

Spanning over 18 minutes, "Monotreme" showcases bemusing and fearless interplay. Bass and drums take their way, riding avenues with more or less speed and impetus, ending up in a swinging buoyancy over which Davis propagates thrilling cascades, prominent pulsations, and oblique melodic invention. On the heels of a compelling arco bass statement and moments of fun piano activity, the trio concludes on a symbiotic groovy note. "Tree Shrimp" closes the first disc, infusing an intrinsic hip-hop vibration in the beat, irresistibly funky bass imprints, and wooden xylophone-like sounds via prepared piano, before a decisive swinging flight toward abstraction.

The second disc comprises three large-canvas improvisations delivered with control and authority. The tense pulsations of "Echidna" stand out, forming a delightfully percussive bubble that keeps you trapped in its confines. Rewilder provides a thrilling listening experience filled with surprises and musical liberation."-Filipe Freitas


Get additional information at Jazz Trail

Artist Biographies

"Memphis-bred, Grammy-nominated bassist/composer Stephan Crump has lived in Brooklyn since 1994. An active bandleader and composer, he has released ten critically-acclaimed albums in addition to numerous film scoring contributions. As bassist, known for transforming his instrument into a speaking entity of magnetic pull, his focus on creative instrumental music has led to collaborations with many of the leading lights of his generation.

Shunning barriers of genre, Crump has performed and recorded with a diverse range of musicians, from Portishead's Dave McDonald, The Violent Femmes' Gordon Gano, to Patti Austin, Jim Campilongo, Jorma Kaukonen, Lucy Kaplansky, Big Ass Truck, Sonny Fortune, and late blues legend Johnny Clyde Copeland. Currently, he can be heard as a long-standing member of Vijay Iyer Trio and Sextet, Jen Chapin Band, Ches Smith Trio, Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet, Liberty Ellman Sextet, Secret Keeper (with Mary Halvorson), his own Rosetta Trio, as well as groups with Kris Davis, Ingrid Laubrock, Cory Smythe, Eric McPherson, Mat Maneri, and Okkyung Lee.

Stephan comes from a family of architects, sculptors, painters, storytellers, musicians, civic leaders, and craftsmen. He was raised in music and the arts by his Parisian mother, an amateur pianist, and his Memphian father, an architect, painter, and jazz drummer. After six years of classical piano study and two years with the alto saxophone, he got his first bass guitar at age thirteen and spent his high school years playing in rock and funk bands around Memphis. During the summers, he worked in the studio of his uncle, Stephen, a wood sculptor.

Crump received his Bachelor of Music degree from Amherst College, where he studied under Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Lewis Spratlin and was awarded the Sundquist Prize for performance and composition. It was at Amherst that he began his acoustic bass journey, with a focus on classical training that culminated in a year of study in Paris with Gary Karr-protégé Patrick Hardouineau. His jazz studies at Amherst included work with Max Roach, Frank Foster, and Ray Drummond.

Crump launched his solo performance career as an invited artist at the 2009 International Society of Bassists conference and has since released several recordings documenting his duo collaborations with alto saxophonist Steve Lehman, pianist James Carney, and guitarist Mary Halvorson. His all-string Rosetta Trio, with Jamie Fox and Liberty Ellman, is working toward their fourth album, while and his Rhombal quartet, with Tyshawn Sorey, Ellery Eskelin, and Adam O'Farrill, recently released its eponymous debut.

Stephan is an enthusiastic endorser of Velvet strings, Aguilar bass amplifiers, AMT acoustic bass microphones, and David Gage Czech Ease travel bass."

-Stephan Crump Website (http://stephancrump.com/about/)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Pianist-composer Kris Davis has blossomed as one of the singular talents on the New York jazz scene, a deeply thoughtful, resolutely individual artist who offers "uncommon creative adventure," according to JazzTimes. The Vancouver-born, Brooklyn-residing Davis was dubbed one of the music's top up-and-comers in a 2012 New York Times article titled "New Pilots at the Keyboard," with the newspaper saying: "Over the past couple years in New York, one method for deciding where to hear jazz on a given night has been to track down the pianist Kris Davis." Reviewing one of the series of striking albums Davis has released over the past half-decade, the Chicago Sun-Times lauded the "sense of kaleidoscopic possibilities" in her playing and compositions.

Long favored by her peers and jazz fans in the know, Davis has earned high praise from no less than star pianist and MacArthur "Genius" Grant honoree Jason Moran, who included her in his Best of 2012 piece in Art Forum, writing: "A freethinking, gifted pianist on the scene, Davis lives in each note that she plays. Her range is impeccable; she tackles prepared piano, minimalism and jazz standards, all under one umbrella. I consider her an honorary descendant of Cecil Taylor and a welcome addition to the fold."

The newest album from Davis as a leader is Capricorn Climber (Clean Feed, 2013), with the pianist joined by kindred spirits Ingrid Laubrock (tenor saxophone), Mat Maneri (viola), Trevor Dunn (double-bass) and Tom Rainey (drums). Davis made her debut on record as a leader with Lifespan (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2003), followed by three progressively inventive and acclaimed albums for the Fresh Sound label: the quartet discs The Slightest Shift (2006) and Rye Eclipse (2008), then the trio set Good Citizen (2010). Davis's 2011 solo piano album on Clean Feed, Aeriol Piano, appeared on Best of the Year lists in The New York Times, JazzTimes and Art Forum. Davis wrote the extraordinary arrangements for saxophonist-composer Tony Malaby's nonet project Novela, with the album Novela released by Clean Feed in 2011 and appearing on Best of the Year lists in DownBeat and JazzTimes. The pianist is also part of the collaborative Paradoxical Frog with Laubrock and drummer Tyshawn Sorey; their eponymous 2011 album on Clean Feed was included on Best of the Year lists by National Public Radio, The New York Times and All About Jazz.

In addition to her work as a leader, Davis has performed with such top figures as Paul Motian, Bill Frisell, Tim Berne, John Hollenbeck, Michael Formanek and Mary Halvorson. Davis started playing piano at age 6, studying classical music through the Royal Conservatory in Canada and formulating her desire for a life in music by playing in the school jazz band at age 12. She earned a bachelor's degree in Jazz Piano from the University of Toronto and attended the Banff Centre for the Arts jazz program in 1997 and 2000. The pianist received a Canada Council grant to relocate to New York and study composition with Jim McNeely, then another to study extended piano techniques with Benoit Delbecq in Paris. She holds a master's in Classical Composition from the City College of New York, and she teaches at the School for Improvised Music.

The Jazz Gallery has given Davis a commissioning residency to write for her trio with Rainey and John Hébert to take place in May 2013, and the Shifting Foundation awarded her a grant to compose and record a large-ensemble project. About her art, JazzTimes has declared: "Davis draws you in so effortlessly that the brilliance of what she's doing doesn't hit you until the piece has slipped past." "

-Kris Davis Website (http://krisdavis.net/bio/)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"A native of NYC, Eric McPherson came to prominence apprenticing with legendary saxophonist and educator, Jackie Mclean, and innovative pianist and composer Andrew Hill. Those foundational experiences cultivated Eric into one of the leading drummers in contemporary creative music. Eric continues the legacy of the musical giants who came before him. As well as performing and teaching internationally with an array of today's leading contemporary creative musicians, Eric teaches privately and at the University of Hartford's, Jackie Mclean institute."

-Smalls Live (https://www.smallslive.com/artists/222-eric-mcpherson/)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



CD1



1. Cyclops Mountain 11:13

2. Axolotyl 6:28

3. Gamelan Circuit 4:30

4. Monotreme 18:32

5. Tree Shrimp 11:09

CD2



1. Lost Species 23:37

2. Echidna 12:59

3. Commerce Sunrise 16:29

Related Categories of Interest:


Intakt
Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Collective Free Improvsation
Instruments with Preparations
Trio Recordings
Piano Trio (Piano Bass Drums)
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
New in Improvised Music
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