Saxophonist Caroline Davis and keyboardist Rob Clearfield are longtime collaborators from their days based in Chicago. While Davis is now based in New York and Clearfield in Paris, France, the pair have continued working together, and have just released Anthems (Sunnyside), the debut album of their new collaborative project, Persona.
The band name comes from the title of director Ingmar Bergman’s 1966 film Persona, where a nurse taking care of a mute actress begins to take on her charge’s personality. The film narrative is an apt metaphor for the band’s development. As both Davis and Clearfield added compositions to the group’s book, their musical interests began to merge—Davis started incorporating Clearfield’s complex rhythmic cycles, while Clearfield emulated Davis’s impassioned lyricism. The album’s opening track, Davis’s “People Look Like Tanks,” is a perfect encapsulation of this merged personality, as a searching saxophone line winds its way over an ever-shifting piano vamp.
This Wednesday, October 2, the full Persona lineup comes to The Jazz Gallery to celebrate their album release. Joining Davis and Clearfield for two sets will be bassist Sam Weber and drummer Jay Sawyer.
Persona celebrates the release of Anthems (Sunnyside)at The Jazz Gallery on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. The group features Caroline Davis on alto saxophone, Rob Clearfield on keyboards, Sam Weber on bass, and Jay Sawyer on drums. Sets are at 7:30 and 9:30 P.M. $15 general admission (FREE for members), $20 reserved cabaret seating ($10 for members) for each set. Purchase tickets here.