Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Harris Eisenstadt - Canada Day II (Songlines, 2011)

Percussionist and composer Harris Eisenstadt is one of the leading lights of the new jazz scene, leading and participating in several bands including this one that includes Nate Wooley on trumpet, Matt Bauder on tenor saxophone, Chris Dingman on vibraphone and Eivind Opsvik on bass. They get a nimble quintet sound with some very nice tunes arranged well by Eisenstadt, beginning with “Cobble Hook” developing fast vibraphone and excellent bass, and engaging a fine saxophone solo to boot. “To Seventeen” and “Song For Owen” develop a gentle loping swing at a medium tempo with a fine trumpet solo on the latter. An interesting mysterious feeling is developed on “Now Longer,” sounding spare and open. The pace picks up with “To Eh” which introduces swinging horns and vibes to the equation and a great slurring trumpet solo. “To Be” has a medium tempo setting with saxophone and vibes mixing nicely, under deeply propulsive drumming from the leader. The group develops a nice dynamic fashion of improvising, picking up a fine section for bass and vibes. Particularly impressive is “To See/Tootie” which has a fast and strong open feel, developing dynamic tension through pinched trumpet, vibraphone and a fluid saxophone solo. Strong collective improvisation takes the tune out with excellent bass serving as the foundation. The languid “Judo With Tokyo Joe (For John Zorn)” wraps up the music with an Ellingtonian arrangement with languorous vibes developing in a slow and stately fashion. Canada Day II - amazon.com

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