Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

Pyroclastic Records

Not content with forging new models on the bandstand, pianist Kris Davis seeks to achieve similar ends with her Pyroclastic Records imprint, which she has set up as a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting innovative artists who create art for noncommercial purposes. The label likely came to the attention of many jazz fans thanks to the sustained critical praise for Diatom Ribbons, Davis’ shapeshifting extravaganza built upon the foundation of her trio with drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and electronicist Val Jeanty. It was selected as The New York Times Best Jazz Album of 2019 and also took top spot in the prestigious NPR Critics Poll. Quite a coup for a small independent. More on that later.
Although she has released music on a variety of outlets, including Clean Feed, Fresh Sound and Intakt, Davis explains the impetus to start Pyroclastic: “As I was growing and creating more work I just wanted to localize where that work was. A lot of the small labels take some kind of publishing and I just felt like I want to own my own music.” The name stems from an analogy with Davis’ sometimes fiery pianistics. “Pyroclastic is explosive material that comes out of a volcano. And I was feeling that sometimes my playing is a little bit like that.”
Artist: Ben Goldberg