Friday, July 13, 2012

Harris Eisenstadt - Canada Day III (Songlines, 2012)

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 Garth Stevenson on bass, Chris Dingman on vibraphone, Nate Wooley on trumpet and Matt Bauder on tenor saxophone. They get a nicely arranged quintet sound with some very well composed and thought out songs by Eisenstadt. “Slow and Steady” opens the album with ringing vibes and graceful trumpet playing, developing into an excellent medium paced formation enhanced by subtle brushwork from the leader. Probing trumpet and vibes usher in “Settled” building to strong brass accenting Buader’s saxophone solo with cool sounding shimmering vibraphone, bass and drum support. “A Whole New Amount of Interactivity” moves from the meditative nature of the first two compositions to a spritely upbeat feel. I love the way the vibraphone and drums mesh to create a really cool percussion sound. Horns frame them and then give birth to a strong supple trumpet solo sounding outstanding and robust section for trumpet and drums. “The Magician of Lublin” arrives with low plucked and bowed bass with ripe trumpeting and vibes around the edges giving the track a sense of purpose akin to Eric Dlophy’s great album Out to Lunch, as they develop many interesting moods and textures throughout the piece. The dynamic nature of the music and the musicians is displayed well in “Nosey Parker” where a thoughtful sunrise type melody gives way to spears of trumpet across the other instruments. Delicacy is apparent in “Shuffle off this Mortal Coil” with soft spoken trumpet and vibes giving way to a brighter pace with Dingman leading the way accompanied by a strong drume pulse. Eisenstadt shifts the mood and pace constantly, dictating the nature and feel of the music. This was a well done and thoughtful album Eisenstadt gives much room for his sidemen to shine and contribute to a concrete group sound. Canada Day III -

Send comments to Tim.