🎵 Today’s album: “Diatom Ribbons” by Kris Davis
Kris Davis, 39, has spent years as her generation’s powerhouse pianist in waiting. No longer. On “Diatom Ribbons,” her skills as a composer, band assembler, system builder and improviser — a musical auteur, basically — come fully into focus. Ms. Davis builds her compositions on crooked patterns and splintered loops that somehow become a kind of magnetic touchstone, bringing together wildly diverse musicians in tangled unity.
I don’t listen to jazz that much anymore but I used to listen to it for hours on end as I read and wrote my way through my senior year of college. (It helped that I could get countless jazz CDs for free at the library.) “Diatom Ribbons” is more edgy and experimental than the classic jazz I grew up on, but I found it quite enjoyable. Listening to it is like visiting a musical world I kind of understand, and kind of don’t, but feeling warm and welcome all the same.