In front of a sold-out crowd, Kris Davis led her quartet in a impressive array of exploratory pieces last night. Joined by veteran musicians Mat Maneri (viola), Drew Gress (bass), and Jim Black (drums), the band played two sets of originals. The first set comprised three extended pieces filled with energy, unusual rhythms, and fascinating interplay. The second set mellowed a touch, while continuing to give each musician enough space for self-expression while building an intricate and unique group sound. The instrumentation worked well together–Davis’s intricate and unpredictable playing matched so well with Maneri’s vibrant and at times, mournful, viola, while Gress and Black added fire to the open avenues in the songs.
Davis next plays with the Sarah Bernstein Quartet at Roulette this Tuesday, April 2, at 8 pm.