October 14, 2020
Eric Revis is a Grammy-winning jazz Bassist/Composer currently living in Los Angeles, CA. He came to prominence as a bassist with singer Betty Carter in the mid-1990s, and since 1997 has been a member of Branford Marsalis's ensemble. Eric has also released nine albums as leader, including his most recent "Slipknots Through A Looking Glass" which was featured at the top of Bandcamp's Best Jazz of September article. He has worked with Audeze artists Kris Davis, Ron Saint Germain, David Breskin and Chad Taylor, among many others.re
Here is our chat with Eric:
Can you pick out any favorites from your work that you're particularly proud of?
All of the records I’ve done as a leader have, for various reasons, a particular place in my heart.
Probably because they are the most recent and most vividly remembered, my latest “Slipknots Through A Looking Glass” and as a member of the Branford Marsalis Quartet “The Secret Between The Shadow and The Soul."
How would you define your main role on most of the projects you work on?
I would say that about 70% of the things I work on now are collaborative efforts between my bands and co-lead efforts. The rest would be sideman projects.
How did you get started in music/audio production?
It was more out of necessity. I pretty much self-produced my first record “Tales Of The Stuttering Mime." Up until that point, I was unconcerned with elements of production. But when it fell in my lap and I was responsible for the outcome of the way the record sounded, I had to be very concerned very fast.
Can you name any factors you feel majorly influenced the course of your musical life? Heroes, role models, moments, interactions, etc?
Joining Betty Carter’s band. She was the university. There were so many things I learned from being in her band from playing very fast to playing very slow, presentation, note choice, choice of material just to name a few. Joining Branford’s band has been graduate school for 20+ years. It’s been an amazing experience. At this point I am very fortunate to play with people I love and respect and can quite honestly say that they all have influenced me.
Can you briefly describe a moment of frustration from your past work, and what you may have done to overcome the obstacles? Would you approach it differently now?
Oh Man. With hindsight being 20/20, and me being a little too self-critical, there are probably a few things I would have done differently on every project I’ve done.
Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project? What are some of your favorite tools/instruments recently?
The notation program Sibelius by Avid has been the go-to for me for 15-20 years. Lately I’ve been delving in to (Apple's) Logic.
Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire toward a similar path for their own careers?
Practice. Listen to as many things as you can. Strive to be a better person. All of these things will have an indelible affect on your music.
How long have you been working with headphones, and how do you typically use them in your workflow?
I have just recently joined the Audeze family. I was introduced to them via Ron St Germain while mixing my last record. In the past I haven’t been geared to the audiophile’s perspective, even in the studio. While working with Saint, him being the brilliant engineer he is, he really introduced me to a whole other level of sonic appreciation. Part of this happened when he pulled out the Audeze headphones. It was very much like hearing music for the first time… amazing!!!
Have the Audeze cans had an effect on the way you work since you got them?
Without a doubt. From composing to listening to music, the Audeze cans have brought a certain clarity that until I got them, I didn’t know existed.