By Alexa Peters | Published October 2020
Eric Revis’ Slipknots Through A Looking Glass—his first leader date for Pyroclastic—depicts the bassist as a fearless master of experimentation, a force of nature.
For more than two decades, Revis has made a name for himself performing alongside irrefutable greats like Branford Marsalis, Betty Carter, Lionel Hampton and McCoy Tyner. Up-front and center on Slipknots—following a string of leader dates on the Clean Feed imprint—Revis delivers his long-loved talents tenfold, framed within tempestuous compositions.
Much of Slipknots is emotionally chaotic. “Shutter,” for instance, is a speedboat on the high seas. Its elongated saxophone melody cuts through a frenzied pianistic chop, building toward a scream. And then, all at once, an anxious silence. “When I Become Nothing,” with its existential title and saxophonists Darius Jones and Bill McHenry’s unison moaning, is a despairing ballad. In the song’s final 30 seconds, high staccato piano and brushes lift the mood.
Every track across Slipknots conjures up dynamic scenes in the mind’s eye, tethering a well-honed sense for free improvisation and interplay to a profound emotional epic.
Slipknots Through A Looking Glass: Baby Renfro; SpÆ; Earl & The Three-Fifth’s Compromise; Slipknots Through A Looking Glass, Part 1; Shutter; ProByte; Slipknots Through A Looking Glass, Part 2; House Of Leaves; When I Become Nothing; Vimen; Slipknots Through A Looking Glass, Part 3. (55:19)
Personnel: Eric Revis, bass; Kris Davis, piano; Bill McHenry, tenor saxophone; Darius Jones, alto saxophone; Chad Taylor, drums, mbira; Justin Faulkner, drums (1, 3).