By Stuart Broomer
Calgary-raised, Toronto-educated and now based in New York, pianist/composer Kris Davis has built a substantial reputation at the cutting edge where jazz blends freely with classical and improvised inspirations. However, Save Your Breath (Cleanfeed CF 322 CD, clean-feed-records.com), by her new ensemble Infrasound, is her most exciting work to date. What might draw a composer to create an octet combining the chordal density of piano, organ and guitar with the inchoate depths of four bass clarinets? The answer is apparent everywhere here in thick, welling music that moves from haunted opera house to the real depths provided by shaking low frequencies, all of it combined in ways both masterful and mysterious to create a music that you definitely haven’t heard before. Among the cast of bass clarinetists, Ben Goldberg is profound on Always Leave Them (Wanting More) and Joachim Badenhorst incendiary on Whirly Swirly.