Tag Archives: Canada Day

Tomajazz review by Pachi Tapiz

CF 157Harris Eisenstadt – Canada Day (CF 157)
Canada Day del batería y compositor canadiense Harris Eisenstadt es una pequeña joya, además de una broma. Grabada en quinteto, entre sus componentes incluye a figuras que aunque no sean muy conocidas a nivel popular en este momento, tienen ante sí un futuro brillante, como el trompetista Nate Wooley (uno de los más interesantes de la actualidad entre los más jóvenes con permiso de Taylor Ho Bynum), el saxofonista Matt Bauder o el bajista Eivind Opsvik. La música trabaja en ese punto de difícil equilibrio que es compaginar las composiciones y el trabajo del grupo, con el trabajo y las improvisaciones individuales. Otro factor muy importante es su equilibrio en cuanto a su duración: las ocho piezas duran en torno a los 7 minutos, perfectos para dejar trabajar al quintento y para que el oyente quede con ganas de más. http://www.tomajazz.com/bun/2009/11/harris-einsenstadt-canadian-day.html

Eyeweekly review by Dave Morris

CF 157Harris Eisenstadt – Canada Day (CF 157)
Americans don’t think being from Canada is particularly cool — in their minds, we’re basically Upper Montana — so for Brooklyn-based jazz drummer/composer Harris Eisenstadt, naming his album and his ensemble after his home and native land is ballsy. So are the disc’s eight originals, which crackle with intensity despite their knotty, abstract harmonies. The team of Eivind Opsvik’s driving bass and Chris Dingman’s moody vibraphone work echo Dave Holland’s rapport with Steve Nelson, and Eisenstadt supports them with sensitive patterns that keep on pushing the band forward, as well as the occasional funk groove. Trumpeter Nate Wooley and tenor saxist Matt Bauder weave around the rhythm section with ease (especially on “After An Outdoor Bath,” which sounds at times like one of those great freewheeling loft jams from the late ’70s), but Dingman steals the show with his plaintive intro to “Every Day Is Canada Day.” If only.
http://www.eyeweekly.com/ondisc/article/74870

All About Jazz review by Mark Corroto

Clean Feed Records eat the plate 
Clean Feed records, founded in 2001, has been the most prolific and adventurous label for jazz this new century. Based in Lisbon, Portugal their offerings have included many of jazz’s old guard including reed players Evan Parker, Paul Dunmall, Charles Gayle, Vinny Golia and Anthony Braxton and trumpeters Dennis Gonzalez and Herb Robertson, along with current innovators bassist Joe Morris and reed players Ken Vandermark, Rudresh Mahanthappa and Tony Malaby, to name just a few.

Clean Feed’s reach seemingly has no bounds, featuring the greatest players alongside new names in jazz. As with the Blue Note or Impulse! jazz labels of the 1960s, listeners can be assured a consistent presentation of high quality music no matter if the name on the album cover is familiar or not.

CF 150Marty Ehrlich Rites Quartet – Things Have Got To Change (CF 150)
Saxophonist Marty Ehrlich has been a mainstay of the New York jazz scene for decades. He founded the Dark Woods Ensemble and has recorded with everyone from pianist Andrew Hill to saxophonists John Zorn and Ehrlich’s hero, saxophonist Julius Hemphill. Of late, he has been producing long thematic works. This quartet session is a bit of a change, a variety of shorter pieces that delight the ears with crisp solos and swinging interplay.

The cast includes familiar and distinctive players negotiating five tracks by Ehrlich and three from Hemphill. Hemphill’s compositions are joyfully produced, with the semi-classic “Dogon A.D.” acting as the anchor here. The band, solidified behind drummer Pheeroan AkLaff who negotiates the bluesy piece as a bouncy vehicle for each solo. Ehlrich’s coughing alto aligns with Eric Friedlander’s cello in syncopation to the beats. Elsewhere, the cello offers that slightly different (from a bass) feel on the track “On The One,” that makes this music feel as if it has a mind to be a chamber ensemble, but with the recklessness of a nightclub band. Maybe it is the untamed trumpet work of James Zollar that keeps the music real. This is one of those special recordings that begs for more.

CF 151Samuel Blaser – Pieces Of The Old Sky (CF 151)
Swiss-born, New York-trained Berlin resident trombonist Samuel Blaser begins his Clean Feed debut with a 17-minute meditation by his quartet of Todd Neufeld (guitar), Thomas Morgan (bass) and Tyshawn Sorey (drums). The dreamlike and ponderous pace acts as a slow motion series of features for brooding trombone and guitar. Likewise, “Madala” stirs emotions by way of its deliberateness and pace-building for tension. Sorey is the suitable choice for the drum seat. He has developed a knack for playing that is beyond jazz, using his kit as a frontline player. Both “Red Hook” and “Speed Game” up the ante, elevating the pace and forcing a bit more tension into the music. Blaser responds with shorter thoughts and tighter solos, but those flowing notes remain.

CF 157Harris Eisenstadt – Canada Day (CF 157)
Canadian-born drummer Harris Eisenstadt is quickly becoming known as a modern jazz composer/arranger to watch. His work is thoroughly modern, with elements of West African drumming. His music is reminiscent of the innovations saxophonist Wayne Shorter was introducing in the 1960s on Blue Note. His Quintet Canada Day concentrates on group improvisation, forwarding the individual sounds of saxophonist Matt Bauder, vibraphonist Chris Dingman, trumpeter Nate Wooley and bassist Eivind Opsvik to bear on these eight compositions.

The quintet negotiates the drummer’s penchant to change time and rhythmic patterns within a song while maintaining the groove. “Everyday Is Canada Day” begins with dreamy vibes before the band enters, building the song from a simple platform. Wooley’s trumpet solo bumps against the vibes with its temerity and coarseness. Eisenstadt is blending sounds here to great effect, as he does on “After An Outdoor Bath.” He never seems to forget the pleasures of listening when he is making music.

CF 159Nobuyasu Furuya – Bendowa (CF 159)
Lisbon-based saxophonist Nobuyasu Furuya takes a walk around with the saxophone masters of energy jazz: Peter Brotzmann, Frank Lowe and Roscoe Mitchell. Bendowa might have been mistaken for an early AACM recording. The Japanese-born reedsman and flutist plays here in a Portuguese trio with Gabriel Ferrandini (drums) and Hernani Faustino (bass). While the music pushes the outer edge, it never breaks down into a noise-fest. The steady groove of Ferrandini and Faustino allow for Furuya to apply his craft. His tenor on “Track 1” splats big strokes of paint all over the canvas, while “Track 2” finds him playing more traditional sounds (Japanese?) on his flute. The aggressive bass clarinet notes heard on “Track 5” float and dive into the rolling maelstrom of bass and drum animation. This is free jazz, coming from a classically trained reedsman. Maybe this new “new thing” music is the best thing to come from globalization.

CF 155Ze Eduardo Unit – Jazz Ar: Live At Capuchos (CF 155)
A mover and shaker in the Portuguese jazz scene for decades, the bassist Ze Eduardo would be comfortable playing with Han Bennink and the ICP Orchestra, Roy Nathanson’s Jazz Passengers or Steven Bernstein’s Millennium Orchestra. His brand of jazz doesn’t skip humor as an element of the music, and the audience responds affirmatively on this October 2008 live date. His trio, or unit, is composed of tenor saxophonist Jesus Santandreu and drummer Bruno Perdroso, both heard on the previous release A Jazzar no Zeca: A Musica de Jose Afonso (Clean Feed, 2004).

Don’t get the wrong impression, this is serious music making. The band just loves what they do. Their take on “The Simpsons” theme is in no way camp. The band lays down a solid groove, phrasing the familiar cartoon theme here as they do with other cartoons characters here. Their “serious” music includes the coughing interludes on “Abelha Maia” that never miss a beat between bits and pieces of “Santa Lucia.” This agreeable recording is music making at the highest level, it just happens to be very jocular.

CF 156Pinton / Kullhammar / Zetterberg / Nordstrom – Chant (CF 156)
From Sweden comes a quartet of improvisors that were assembled for a series of concerts and this recording. All four have played together in various ensembles, but this combination, a “power” ensemble, displays a tenacity that yields special results. The musicians are saxophonists Alberto Pinton and Jonas Kullhammar, bassist Torbjörn Zetterberg and drummer Kjell Nordeson. The piano-less quartet effects a harmonious sound from the baritone and tenor combination on the majority of tracks. Pinton and Kullhammar make this a friendly competition for space and solos, exercising sonic demons on “Chantpagne,” as the timekeepers Zetterberg and Nordeson keep the pulse and intensity level quite high. The possibilities for this music are boundless. The pliant dueling baritones march to “Den Stora Vantan” while all the music making is done by the drummer.

The obvious homage here, “Cross/For Bluiett,” has saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett’s outward jazz vision in mind as it sails a chamber blues into the audience’s ears. The band ends with “Mount Everest,” a direct reference to the Swedish free jazz band of the same name whose passion for saxophonists Albert Ayler and Ornette Coleman are shared by our heroes. The wow-factor is increased with every track heard on this excellent disc.

CF 158Julio Resende – Assim Falava Jazzatustra (CF 158)
The unforgettable pianist Julio Resende performs this live set in Lisbon with his band and a few special guests. Assim Falava Jazzatustra follows his 2007 release Da Alma (Clean Feed). Here he summons a quartet with the notable Spanish saxophonist Perico Sambeat and the most excellent Swedish bassist Ole Morten Vagan. The music is a blend of rhythmic and percussive jazz that is instantly agreeable. Resende’s piano can at times give off the Cuban vibe, as on “Perico Sambeat,” or a classical sound, as on “Ir F Voltar.” On the latter track the band is joined by vocalist Manuela Azevedo from the pop band Cla. The band’s rocked-out take on “Boom!” finds Resende’s piano ringing bell-like throughout. He plies the keyboard with such a predatory feel here. In contrast, his cover of the Pink Floyd song “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” is elegant and sanguine as he negotiates the nostalgic piece. Worth the price of admission to that concert, his rendering of that classic song is priceless.

CF 152Charles Rumback – Two Kinds Of Art Thieves (CF 152)
Chicago drummer Charles Rumback leads a quartet of like minded musicians on a very introspective album. Rumback is a member of bands varying from post-rock to electronica, including Colorlist, The Horse’s Ha and Fred Lonberg-Holm’s Lightbox Orchestra. Here he employs bassist Jason Ajemian (Dragons 1976, Rob Mazurek, Bill Dixon), tenor saxophonist Greg Ward (Mike Reed’s Loose Assembly, People Places & Things) and alto saxophonist Joshua Sclar (Westport Art Ensemble). The music is characterised by paced, even-keeled, small gestures of sound. Often Rumback is playing quiet fingers on his drums while the saxophonists whisper notes in exchanges that are more late-night conversation than trading fours. The music, thoroughly composed, prefers to make its case with quiet gesticulation and soft melody. The slightest sound makes a large impact here. An impressive debut.

CF 154Weightless – A Brush With Dignity (CF 154)
These live dates from October 2008 in Germany mark the coming together of UK artistsJohn Butcher (saxophones) and John Edwards (bass) and Italians Alberto Braida (piano) and Fabrizio Spera (drums). All four had played together in varying combinations before, but the Weightless tour of Italy and Germany was their first as a complete unit. The natural combination of saxophone, piano, bass and drums gives listeners an accustomed lineup, but the music making (as you might not be surprised) is far from traditional.

The disc opens with “Apre,” a stellar piece of energy jazz that builds momentum as the players trade off duos and solos. What is remarkable here is the distribution of sound. A mark of seasoned players, the music is never crowded: all parts are distinctive and can be set apart in listener’s ears. Quite the feat for instantly composed music. The remaining tracks settle into an agreeable sense of interplay. Butcher is more inclined towards his extended techniques and the others follow suit. As with all free music, different parts are compelling for different listeners. The live (in concert) experience is quite unlike that of the recorded listen. That said this is a fine recorded listening experience.
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=34444

Village Voice review by Jim Macnie

CF 157Harris Eisenstadt – Canada Day (CF 157)
Ideas can come at any time, and the drummer’s new After An Outdoor Bath was germinated in a post-soak glow. With vibraphone, sax, and trumpet lifting the melody together, it’s a nü-bop nugget, exactly what you’d hope for from this marked experimentalist whose impressive new Canada Day explores the swinging side of things—in an airy, poetic, and nuanced sort of way.
http://www.villagevoice.com/events/harris-eisenstadt-1420665/

Harris Eisenstadt interview for AAJ (Clifford Allen)

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http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=34198

All About Jazz review by Clifford Allen

CF 157Harris Eisenstadt – Canada Day (CF 157)
Drummer and composer Harris Eisenstadt has, at age 33, a rather lengthy discography and one that’s incredibly diverse for a drummer who could have stuck to cutting teeth as an able sideman in contemporary improvisation. As a leader, his story is even more expansive, running the gamut from Senegalese Mbalax to free-bop. Canada Day is a “love letter” to his home country and to the mid ’60s music of Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter and Tony Williams. Across a breadth of eight pieces, most of which reference travel, home and experience, the leader is joined by regular collaborators (trumpeter Nate Wooley and vibraphonist Chris Dingman) and new conscripts (tenor man Matt Bauder and bassist Eivind Opsvik).
“Don’t Gild the Lily” is both infectious and suspended, a woody vamp set in motion by Opsvik and Eisenstadt, carpeted by glassy mallet tones and cottony tenor slink. Dingman works the taut melody, chewing it in fragments before setting its intervals into a resonant cascade, while Bauder and Wooley provide dirty split-tone backing, using snatches of the noise vocabulary that both have acquainted themselves with through years of cross-genre experimentation. “Halifax” brings into focus a measured minimalism in its easy lope. Bauder’s salty, quixotic inversions take the reins over fractured bass and drum set accompaniment, channeling Shorter and manipulating ‘-isms’ through a screwy series of leaps. The rhythm players never cease their drive, for even as notions of conventional meter get disassembled, Opsvik’s pliant groove and Eisenstadt’s detailed jabs hold the pulse.

It’s not too difficult to hear connections between Canada Day and Shorter’s The All-Seeing Eye (Blue Note, 1965), which in 2007 the drummer re-imagined as a chamber suite. The themes coolly state and then reexamine the tropes of post-bop, nudging the music into areas of unresolved time, melody and freedom.
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=34034

Dusted review by Marc Medwin

CF 157Harris Eisenstadt – “Ups and Downs” (Canada Day, CF 157)
Canada Day is the name of drummer Harris Eisenstadt’s working band, a quintet filled out by trumpeter Nate Wooley, tenor saxophonist Matt Bauder, vibes player Chris Dingman and bassist Eivind Opsvik. The material on the group’s self-titled album is as exciting as it is diverse, with any clichés about group telepathy sounding entirely appropriate.

The heads of these eight Eisenstadt originals show a composer in full flight. Powerful chromatic unisons inform “After an Outdoor Bath”’s first section but are replaced by punchy octaves as the tune shifts from semi-stasis to a swinging groove. By contrast, “And When to Come Back” involves initial swatches of colored sonority as trumpet, saxophone and vibes weave lines into expansive harmonies. Each compositional element returns at some point during the song, but not in a head/solo/head fashion. Rhythms reappear at different tempos. Wooley and Bauder re-inject the melody seemingly on a whim. Miles Davis and Wayne Shorter’s 1960s output is a definite influence, but the vibes lend transparency to the sound and free the others to explore more disparate harmonic regions.

A lot of ground has been covered since 1965, and each soloist brings a broad vocabulary to the table. Bauder and Wooley have always immersed themselves in projects that blend composition and improvisation in innovative ways, and their playing reflects multiple traditions. Each is well known for “New Thing” squall and energy, but here, their solos veer between lyricism and controlled fire with uncanny speed. Bauder’s solo on the contrapuntally complex “Ups and Downs” switches suddenly but subtly from Shorter-esque motivic interjections to Archie Shepp’s multi-phonic honks. Similarly, “Every Day is Canada Day” finds Wooley emitting the soft glow of early Miles until he brings his voice into the equation, filling a long note with rasp and flutter before a startling inter-registral glissando. Opsvik gets little solo room, but he’s a rhythmically inventive and melodically tasteful player who knows the value of space and dynamics. The same can be said of Dingman’s approach; each timely note or sonority shimmers and fades.

Then, there’s Eisenstadt, whose timbral invention is matched by his penchant for rhythmic subversion. He’s equally facile with brushes and sticks, sometimes making it difficult to tell which is which. In the Tony Williams tradition (but not a slave to it), he sets up a pulse or groove only to shake it loose and discard it, the sudden dynamic shifts keeping every gesture fresh. Precision and spontaneity make every gesture simultaneously soloistic and supportive as the structures wend their complex but catchy ways forward. He’s the lynchpin of an exciting aggregate.
http://www.dustedmagazine.com/reviews/5280