Vertical Motion

Davis remains a driving force in classically-influenced free jazz, and has not engaged in late-career coasting. The album bursts with irregular energy and serves to showcase his younger collaborators as much as Davis’s own playing.

Avant Music News

Recorded by Andrew Munsey & Andrés Gutiérre Martínez

Anthony Davis – Piano
Kyle Motl – Bass
Kjell Nordeson – Drums

In 2018, I had the good fortune to organize a session with two absolute heroes of music: Anthony Davis, and Kjell Nordeson. I’d been playing with Kjell in various groups for a few years, and had been studying with Anthony at UC San Diego; the three of us had played as a trio a handful of times.

For the session, we played some of Anthony’s older works, including some which referenced The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin. With that idea of literature and music in mind, I brought some minimal pieces taking literary inspiration, Vertical Motion – referencing the story by Can Xue, and Labyrinths – in obvious reference to Jorge Luis Borges. We also improvised freely, some of those improvisations became the Fictions tracks.

Lady of the Mirrors is a classic Anthony Davis piece, most notably appearing on the solo piano record of the same name. Here, it allows different forms of interaction between voices and space. Vertical Motion and Labyrinths were both written with Anthony and Kjell’s improvisational prowess and ability to develop material in mind: pretty bare sequences and themes that allow everyone to take an idea and really stretch.

The recording sat on the shelf half-forgotten for some years before I went through and picked the tracks that showed the improvisational interplay of the group in its best light.

It was truly an honor to make the music on this record.
Kyle Motl 

Recorded by Andrew Munsey & Andrés Gutiérre Martínez
Mixed & Mastered by Matt Baltrucki

LP. Released September 15, 2023 on Astral Records.

Artwork by D. Norsen
Photographs by Farshid Bazmandegan & Peter Gannushkin