Waiting for You to Grow
Kris Davis – a pianist-composer who offers “uncommon creative adventure,” says JazzTimes – releases her second trio record, Waiting For You To Grow, on Cleanfeed records (a sequel to her first trio recording, Good Citizen, on Fresh Sound). Long favored by her peers, jazz fans and critics, 2013 was an especially fruitful year for Davis, finding her quintet record, Capricorn Climber, her solo recording, Massive Threads and her appearance on Eric Revis’s trio record with Andrew Cyrille on the top records of 2013 in the New York Times, Jazz Times, Time Out and the New York City Jazz Record. Davis earned high praise from no less than star pianist and MacArthur “Genius” Grant honoree Jason Moran, who included her first solo record 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 music for this trio project was commissioned by the Jazz Gallery and Jerome Foundation and was recorded after the trio completed a European Tour in May of 2013.
As the title suggests, Waiting for you to Grow is a deeply personal recording for Davis, composed and recorded when Davis was pregnant with her first child. A time of excitement, uncertainty, and joy, these emotions can be felt as much as heard as the listener makes his way through Waiting For You To Grow. Her band mates, seasoned drummer Tom Rainey and John Hebert, were along side the seven month pregnant Davis as they toured Europe, developing and shaping the music before returning to New York to record. The result is a highly interactive and energetic effort from this long-standing trio.
Featuring some of Davis’s most beautiful piano playing and composing to date, Waiting For You To Grow ranges from the ethereal and hypnotic title track, to the tension-filled and cavernous first track, Whirly Swirly. Twice Escaped, a composition recorded previously on her quartet CD The Slightest Shift, displays Davis’s melodic sensibilities, while Hiccups explores a more traditional approach to the piano trio format.
Davis has become a vital presence on the New York jazz scene, with The New York Times featuring her in a recent article titled “New Pilots at the Keyboard.” In addition to her commission from the Jazz Gallery in 2013, she received a grant from the Shifting Foundation to compose and record a large-ensemble project. Davis has performed with such top figures as Paul Motian, Eric Revis, Andrew Cyrille, Tim Berne, Bill Frisell, John Hollenbeck, Kermit Driscoll, Michael Formanek, Ralph Alessi 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. 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. 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 you.”