By Nate Chinen
A pianist of ascendant prominence in improvised music, Kris Davis recently set out to make her version of a rock album, bypassing most of the usual trappings. Infrasound, the band she assembled for the task, has Nate Radley on guitar, Gary Versace on organ and Jim Black on drums, along with four bass clarinetists: Joachim Badenhorst, Andrew Bishop, Ben Goldberg and Oscar Noriega. It’s a recipe for all manner of tensions, notably between plotted precision and ecstatic abandon, and Ms. Davis balances it all on her compellingly murky new album, “Save Your Breath” (Clean Feed). The music wriggles from one situation to the next: A track called “Jumping Over Your Shadow” surrounds one solo by Mr. Goldberg with stop-and-start drums; a low, snaking organ line; a countermelody on piano and guitar; and a sound field produced by the other clarinetists, in a restive blend. This is music of endless mutability, but it has an undeniable core.