Daily Archives: October 3, 2011

All About Jazz Italy review by Vincenzo Roggero

Harris Eisenstadt – September Trio (CF 229)
Valutazione: 4 stelle
Settembre è il mese in cui la luce accecante dell’estate incomincia a smorzare i toni, in attesa della magia di colori che solo l’autunno è in grado di creare, è il mese in cui i contorni del mondo reale diventano più morbidi, meno netti, e una leggera malinconia incomincia ad insinuarsi in ciascuno di noi. Denominare September Trio il proprio gruppo può suonare perciò come una vera e propria dichiarazione d’intenti.

E se a farlo sono tre tra i musicisti più interessanti della scena nordamericana beh, il risultato non può essere meno che interessante. In effetti September Trio, il CD ha lo stesso nome della band, è un gran bell’album. Ennesima formazione emersa dalla mente fervida e aperta dell’ancor giovane leader – nato a Toronto nel 1975 – il September Trio rivela l’animo più intimista e riflessivo di Harris Eisenstadt, autore di tutte e sette le composizioni.

Che sono leggere come piume ma non impalpabili, con qualche riferimento alla tradizione del jazz e del blues ma talmente aperte da consentire evoluzioni imprevedibili e impreviste dettate dalla sensibilità dei musicisti e dalla loro capacità di sfruttare spazi per libere improvvisazioni dal taglio minimalista. Il leader tesse una trama di impulsi ritmici di rara efficacia e dolcezza in dialogo continuo con il resto del trio.

Ellery Eskelin rivela in questo contesto una classicità senza formalismi, una voce calda e profonda che suona free nel senso di libertà di pensiero e acutezza di vedute. Il pianismo sobrio di Angelica Sanchez – che conferma appieno tutte le doti messe in mostra nello splendido A Little House, sempre per la Clean Feed – crea frequenti dissonanze al clima a tratti malinconico dell’incisione e diventa elemento decisivo pere i perfetti equilibri del September Trio. Che l’autunno aspetti…

Touching Extremes review by Massimo Ricci

Harris Eisenstadt – September Trio (CF 229)
Avoiding the demarcations enforced by an instrument to produce music not resembling anything remotely influenced by that means comes extremely easy to drummer Harris Eisenstadt. The material he wrote for September Trio avoids indulgence within flashy percussive techniques – he never does indeed – being instead oriented towards the reflective side of things. An album for which the adjective “autumnal” might come handy not just because of the group’s name, both partners in this venture contributing to the affirmation of a refined kind of pensiveness. Ellery Eskelin’s tenor explores moods where not a note is mislaid and not a scream is released, yet there is no way to call that sound “smooth” in view of the significant multiplicities of internal meanderings generated by those probings. Angelica Sanchez is a quintessential romantic rationalist, able to permeate the most convulsively clustery parlances with idealistic suggestions running parallel to her modern conception of the piano keyboard’s intrinsic palette. Eisenstadt, having gained respect at the start with a demonstration of compositional maturity, underlines the whole with slender elegance and precious understatement, caressing the drumset’s various parts with the same tenderness of a lover looking at the sunlight’s aura glowing upon the partner’s head.

The New York City Jazz Record review by Stuart Broomer

Harris Eisenstadt – September Trio  (CF 229)
It’s unlikely that there’s ever been a CD quite like this one, a program of compositions all played at slow-tempos (whether blues, ballads or dirges) and led by a drummer. More surprising still, though, is how musically satisfying it is. Its quality begins with Harris Eisenstadt’s compositions, in which he has stuck to absolute fundamentals, emphasizing strongly melodic content, clear formal signals and dramatic repetition. Given his structural clarity, the performances often create complex musical states, with individual voices- Ellery Eskelin’s tenor sax, Angelica Sanchez’ piano, Eisenstadt’s drums – pulling in different directions. “September 1” is pure expressive blues in Eskelin’s hands, as soulful as something by Eddie “Lockjaw”Davis while Sanchez heightens that intensity by contrasting abstract chromatic figures on the piano. On the plaintive “September 5”, each soloist counters the bittersweet melody and group framework, Sanchez working toward rapid, flowering lines and Eskelin dancing outside with quick figurations against Sanchez’ ringing, sustained accompaniment and Eisenstadt’s almost ceremonial percussion. The performances here are at a remarkably high level, with Eskelin summoning up the whole history of the tenor saxophone in jazz, a richly vocal approach that can move from the gruffly expressive tones of one traditional stream to the airy sweetness of another. And in Sanchez Eisenstadt has chosen simply one of the most lyrical players currently working, a master of voicings, harmonic suggestion and rhythmic nuance. Like the best bop drummers, Eisenstadt uses these slow tempos to move rapidly around the kit, constantly animating his partners’ notes with apt accents and embellishments. The brooding power of “September 6”, first launched by a probing Eskelin cadenza, has tremendous cumulative power, testimony to Eisenstadt’s gifts as an orchestrator, whether composing or playing percussion. The trio never seems like a small group; rather, the music sounds like it has found its essential voices.