Tag Archives: harris eisenstadt

All About Jazz Italy review by Vincenzo Roggero

CF 280Nate Wooley Sextet – (Sit In) The Throne Of Friendship (CF 280)
Si respira aria di festa in (Sit In) The Throne of Friendship ultima fatica discografica del trombettista e compositore Nate Wooley. Si avverte quella sensazione un po’ démodé che solo il circo o il luna park sono in grado di offrire, tra momenti di eccitazione per le novità o per le mirabolanti avventure promesse, rassicuranti sensazioni dalle cose che non cambiano, profumi invitanti che sanno d’altri tempi.

La strumentazione è insolita con quattro strumenti dai registri gravi— clarinetto basso, sax baritono, tuba e contrabbasso—a fungere da liquido di contrasto per gli interventi lucenti del vibrafono e per le multiformi sembianze assunte dalla tromba del leader. L’ampio uso di tecniche estese passa inosservato rispetto alla miriade di sfumature che Wooley dissemina con sapienza e noncuranza, ai continui cambi di atmosfera, alle sorprese dispensate da una stanza degli specchi sonora deformante e bizzarra.

Tutto scivola via con naturalezza, come se una mano invisibile tirasse i fili dei singoli strumenti seguendo il ritmo della natura, assecondando irregolarità di percorso e cambi di umore. Wooley oltre che trombettista innovativo si rivela compositore non convenzionale e leader dalla forte personalità in grado di dar risalto alle peculiarità dei singoli in funzione di una chiara progettualità.
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=46570#.UwYOb2J_suc

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Tomajazz reviews by Pachi Tapiz

Clean Feed: en trío y en cuarteto
Tríos y cuartetos forman la oferta del sello portugués Clean Feed en su segunda entrega del año 2013. Propuestas mayoritariamente libre improvisadas en las que se muestran las múltiples caras, los múltiples enfoques que ofrece la creación instantánea.

CF 276El baterista Harris Eisenstadt publica The Destructive Element (CF 276) con su formación September Trio. El saxofonista Ellery Eskelin y la pianista Angelica Sanchez son sus acompañantes nuevamente. Eisenstadt, que durante los últimos años está mostrando ser un gran compositor, es el autor de los nueve temas. Estos resultan muy variados en su suavidad (“Swimming, then Rained Out”), su carácter melancólico (el precioso “Cascadia”), su oscuridad (“Ordinary Weirdness”), su crispación (“Here Are the Samurai”) o su aproximación a la clásica contemporánea (“From Schoenberg”). Ellery Eskelin, y sobre todo Angelica Sanchez son unos magníficos compañeros de viaje.

CF 272El trío formado por la francesa Sophie Agnel (piano), y los británicos John Edwards (contrabajo) y Steve Noble (batería) realiza una interesantísima inmersión en la libre improvisación en Meteo (CF 272). El disco, grabado en el festival del mismo nombre en Mulhouse (Francia), en agosto de 2012, incluye una única pieza de 38 minutos. Una decisión de edición, ya que igualmente podría haber sido troceada en múltiples temas. En las distintas partes los tres músicos muestran una capacidad de diálogo y de invención sencillamente asombrosas. Su música pasa por fases ambientales, abstractas, libres, intensas y suaves. También por el silencio, del que el trío renace mostrando nuevas caras de su capacidad para interactuar. Semejante discurso está al alcance de muy pocos.

CF 277City Of Asylum (CF 277) aparece editado a nombre del contrabajista Eric Revis (Branford Marsalis, Tabarby), aunque igualmente podría haberlo sido a nombre del trío Revis – (Kris) Davis – (Andrew) Cyrille. Salvo un tema de Revis (“Question), uno de Jarrett (“Prayer”) y el monkiano “Gallop’s Gallop”, los seis restantes son unas improvisaciones del trío que por momentos parecen composiciones salidas del papel pautado. Andrew Cyrille es toda una institución en la batería, algo de lo que deja muestras más que evidentes. Kris Davis, una de las mejores pianistas de la actualidad, brilla de principio a fin. Eric Revis es el titular de la grabación, pero únicamente de un modo nominal ya que el peso de la grabación se reparte equilibradamente entre los tres músicos, creando una obra con una coherencia musical sobresaliente.

CF 271Mirage (CF 271) es una grabación de improvisaciones en trío de Ellery Eskelin (saxo), Michael Formanek (contrabajo) y Susan Alcorn (pedal Steel gitar, instrumento habitual en la música country). En los temas más breves el disco transcurre mayoritariamente tranquilo y a medio tiempo, buscando y encontrando melodías. Esa contención (no tanto en la música sino en la duración) se rompe con el extenso “Downburst” (27 minutos), en el que el grupo no es capaz de mostrar mucho más de lo que logra en cada uno de los temas del resto del disco con duraciones de entre tres y cinco minutos.

CF 267Birthmark (CF 267) de la saxofonista danesa Lotte Anker y la fantástica pareja de músicos portugueses formada por Rodrigo Pinheiro (piano) y Hernani Faustino (contrabajo) es un toma y daca de gran intensidad, una sucesión musical llena de tensiones improvisadas, silencios y melodías crispadas muy bien resueltas. Por medio de estos músicos, y otros como el saxofonista Rodrigo Amado, el baterista Gabriel Ferrandini o la trompetista Susana Santos Silva la escena de la improvisación portuguesa demuestra una vitalidad envidiable.

CF 275Precisamente Susana Santos Silva es un tercio de LAMA, que completan Gonçalo Almeida (contrabajo) y Greg Smith (batería). Para Lamaçal (CF 275), su segunda grabación, registrada en directo en el portugués Portalegre Jazz Festival, contaron con la colaboración del saxofonista Chris Speed. Gonçalo Almeida es el autor de cuatro composiciones, mientras que Santos Silva, Almeida y Speed aportan una cada uno. “Anemona”, “Cachalote” o “Moby Dick” (nada que ver con la exhibición de John Bonham de los Led Zeppelin) son algunos de los momentos más logrados. En todos sus temas es tan importante la improvisación como la estructura sobre la que esta se desarrolla, la utilización ortodoxa de los instrumentos como la capacidad de explorar sus posibilidades sonoras.

clean feed made to break layout TEXTO DIFERENTE - ROJOCon Made To Break el saxofonista Ken Vandermark retoma y aúna las sendas abiertas con Spaceways Inc. (que posteriormente desarrolló con Powerhouse Sound) y FME (Free Music Ensemble). Su objetivo en este proyecto es improvisar a partir de unas composiciones modulares en las que los músicos tienen la posibilidad de elegir diferentes elementos. En su desarrollo se incluyen pasajes con un groove muy potente y contagioso con base funk, improvisaciones free en las que no se pierde de vista la melodía, y momentos más contemplativos. En este proyecto le acompañan el baterista Tim Daisy (compañero de Vandermark en mil aventuras musicales), el bajista Devin Hoff y el samplerista Christof Kurzmann.De los tres temas que componen Provoke (CF 273), grabado en directo en Lisboa, el que mejor muestra y engarza esa multitud de influencias es el dedicado a John Cage titulado “Further”. En los otros dos temas también se alternan pasajes contrastados, aunque muestran una menor variedad.

CF 269Desde el inicio de su trayectoria Clean Feed ha estado ligado al festival de Coimbra Jazz Ao Centro, al que ha dedicado la serie JACC dentro de su catálogo. Joe McPhee se une al Trespass Trio en Human Encore (CF 269), grabación registrada a lo largo de tres días en la ciudad portuguesa. En este CD se alternan las composiciones del saxofonista Martin Küchen con las improvisaciones del cuarteto. Esto motiva una variedad más que disfrutable que van del homenaje en formato free al be-bop (“A different Koko”), los aromas folklóricos de “In Our Midst” o “Bruder Beda ist nicht mehr”, el free-bop a tiempo medio (“A deserto n fire, a forest”) o el free propulsivo (“Coimbra, Mon Amour”).

Harris Eisenstadt September Trio: Destructive Element ****
Sophie Agnel, John Edwards, Steve Noble: Meteo *****
Eric Revis: City Of Asylum ****
Mirage: Mirage ***
Lotte Anker, Rodrigo Pinheiro, Hernani Faustino: Birthmark ****
LAMA + Chris Speed: Lamaçal ****
Made To Break: Provoke ****
Trespass Trio + Joe McPhee: Human Encore ****

Downbeat review by Peter Margasak

Few trumpeters find and develop disparate contexts and projects as assiduously as Nate Wooley, a fiercely original and curious horn player who straddles the divide between jazz and abstract improvisation as if it was a mere crack in the sidewalk. These two new recordings capture him in wildly different settings, for which he masterfully calibrates his sound and approach to suit the needs of each, yet  his personality shines through on both.

CF 282Nate Wooley/Peter Evans/Jim Black/Paul Lytton – Trumpets and Drums: Live in Ljubljana (CF 282)
****
Live in Ljubljana is a fully improvised quartet set that puts him in the company of two of his most trusted duo partners: fellow trumpeter Peter Evans and drummer Paul Lytton. Drummer Jim Black, a regular member of the quintet led by Evans, rounds out the Trumpets and Drums quartet. For the majority of the album’s two lengthy pieces, wryly titled “Beginning” and “End,” the horn players dig into their huge bags of extended technique, blowing sibilant growls, unpitched breaths, machine-like sputters, brittle whinnies, and more. But rather that come off as a predictable catalog of sounds, the pair reveal a stunning connection, playing off one another with rare empathy and ensemble-oriented focus. But the bond between Wooley and Evans is hardly the only connection at work here. Lytton and Black contribute a veritable thicket of frictive clatter and percolating chaos, but never at the sake of forward propulsion.

CF 280Nate Wooley Sextet – (Sit In) the Throne of Friendship (CF 280)
****
(Sit In) the Throne of Friendship was recorded with a dazzling, resourceful sextet. The disc not only shows off Wooley’s deep jazz roots on demonstrates his startling growth as a composer and arranger. The album opens with a sparkling adaptation of Randy Newman’s “Old Man on the Farm,” setting the tone with some bracing multi-linear improvisation between himself, reedist Josh Sinton, and tuba player Dan Peck. Wooley deftly scurries between clarion-toned lines that suggest the influence of Dave Douglas, especially the half-valved fluidity, and the scuffed, striated sounds generated with extended technique, fitting both aesthetics into the flow of his compositions. Wooley’s multipartite tunes make exceptional use of his scrappy ensemble, giving them a deceptive orchestral quality. While there’s little about this session that sounds like Birth of the Cool, the agility of Peck reminds me of Bill Barber’s smooth, dominant presence on that Miles Davis classic, while the sometimes shimmering, sometimes dissonant vibraphone lines of Matt Moran adds an additional layer of cool to the proceedings.

Wooley’s tunes are packed with attractive melodies that wind and wend though ever-shifting timbres thanks to inventive, rich arrangements that keep the sonic landscape in constant motion. There are plenty of solos here, but there’s no blowing over cycling forms. Wooley’s technical imagination and mastery of jazz fundamentals has been established already, but this new sextet effort definitely adds notches to his belt.

Free Jazz review by Stef Gissels

CF 280Nate Wooley Sextet – (Sit In) The Throne Of Friendship (CF 280)
****½
Music fans who are familiar with Nate Wooley’s latest releases will be surprised to hear the other side of the trumpeter’s musical vision, one that is less focused on sound and technique, but more on composition and arrangements, and with equal success I must say.

The band is actually an extension of Wooley’s quintet that released “(Put Your) Hands Together”, with tuba-player Dan Peck as the new member, next to Wooley on trumpet, Josh Sinton on bass clarinet and baritone saxophone, Matt Moran on vibes, Eivind Opsvik on bass, and Harris Eisenstadt on drums.

The music is as inventive and varied as on the first album, yet taking even a step further, making it more memorable in that sense, maybe more complex, more compelling, with solos that just go a notch deeper and stronger, in such a way that you want to listen again and again, because even if all sounds are quite easy to get into, and are welcoming and warm from the first listen, the compositions and arrangements develop in unpredictable ways, with lots of tempo and rhythm changes within each track, making it an almost mandatory gesture to push on the start button again, just to make sure you understood what was happening, and especially how it all fits together and how it works out so nicely.

The album opens with the magnificent theme of “Old Man On The Farm”, so beautiful and moving, that you wonder whether this is truly Wooley you’re listening to, but then the theme collapses in absolute free improvisation with great duets between trumpet and bass clarinet, spiralling upwards, in absolute frenzy, then move back into the unison theme with Swiss clock precision.

The album also gives us a grand tour of jazz history, with boppish moments as on the second track, “Make Your Friend Feel Loved”, on which Dan Peck plays a lead role, with deep intro growls from his tuba gradually picking up rhythm, Eisenstadt and Moran joining soon, then Wooley Sinton Opsvik bring the theme, things change into hesitant stalling chords, going nowhere at all like a track stand in cycling, full of built-up tension, only to be released by a boppish “walking tuba” underpinning for a great solo by Wooley, full of joy and anger at the same time, things come to a halt again, the theme resurfaces and Sinton shouts through his baritone for his solo part.

“The Berries” offers Moran the stage for a long solo moment in between a jubliant unison theme that is fun although somewhat too mellow for my taste.

Things get better again with “Plow”, with odd thematic counterpoints as beacons in an otherwise open-ended structure, with solos for Opsvik  in the first part, and some weird trialogue between trumpet, vibes and bass clarinet in the second.

“Executive Suites” is a strange animal, with changing themes, rhythms and moods even, varying between funny and solemn, with complex arrangements and sudden surprises.

“My Story My Story” is a melancholy piece that starts rhythm-less with muted trumpet tones over slow vibes which sound like church bells in the distance, and with bass and tuba adding darkness in the lower tones, over slowly changing ascending chord changes, then halfway an explicit slow blues emerges with Wooley unmuting his horn, playing some astonishing fully voiced multiphonics, then sounding like Lester Bowie in “The Great Pretender”, heartrending and deeply emotional.

“Sweet And Sad Consistency”, has a contemplative beginning which evolves into a stomping uptempo 7/8 juggernaut with Sinton blowing some hair-raising howls out of his baritone sax, in stark contrast to Wooley’s warm introduction, while bass and drums are more of the headbanging kind, but when the band is at full throttle, the thing stops for some side conversation of the low volume kind, all this in sharp contradiction with the track’s title.

The album ends with “A Million Billion BTUs”, a composition built around several themes, one more sweeping, the other interestingly accelerating, with changes of tempo throughout and great solo space for Wooley, Sinton and Moran.

So, now listen to this album, and again and again. To describe it in a few words is hard, as you can understand from the above, but here is a try : a warm and heartfelt album, full of inventive compositions, building on various elements of jazz tradition, yet moving it a step further into the future, performed with superb musicianship and equally warm and tight interplay.

Play it again!
http://www.freejazzblog.org/

Tomajazz review by Pachi Tapiz

CF 276Harris Eisenstadt September Trio: Destructive Element (CF 276)
El baterista Harris Eisenstadt publica The Destructive Element con su formación September Trio. El saxofonista Ellery Eskelin y la pianista Angelica Sanchez son sus acompañantes nuevamente. Eisenstadt, que durante los últimos años está mostrando ser un gran compositor, es el autor de los nueve temas. Estos resultan muy variados en su suavidad (“Swimming, then Rained Out”), su carácter melancólico (el precioso “Cascadia”), su oscuridad (“Ordinary Weirdness”), su crispación (“Here Are the Samurai”) o su aproximación a la clásica contemporánea (“From Schoenberg”). Ellery Eskelin, y sobre todo Angelica Sanchez son unos magníficos compañeros de viaje.
http://www.tomajazz.com/web/?p=8394

The New York City Jazz Record review by Stuart Broomer

CF 282Joe Morris/Agustí Fernández/Nate Wooley – From the Discrete to the Particular (Relative Pitch)
Nate Wooley/Peter Evans/Jim Black/Paul Lytton – Trumpets and Drums (Live in Ljubljana) (CF 282)
Nate Wooley Sextet – (Sit In) The Throne of Friendship (CF 280)
CF 280Nate Wooley is among a group of distinguished younger trumpeters redefining the sonic possibilities of the instrument. More than that though, he combines both rare invention and rare taste across a stylistic range that stretches from free improvisation to his own version of postbop.

The trio of Wooley, guitarist Joe Morris and pianist Agustí Fernández that appears on From the Discrete to the Particular has its antecedents in Morris’ prior duos with Wooley and Fernández. It’s free improvisation of the first rank, with each of the seven pieces a developed musical dialogue defining its own timbres and shape, whether it’s the pointillist sputters of the opening “Automatos”, the flurries of discrete sounds that firstmark “As Expected” or the oblique harmonic language of “Bilocation” that flowers into an evanescent lyricism created by all three musicians. “Membrane” suggests an early John Cage prepared piano sonata extended to a collective. The longest pieces, “Hieratic” and “Chumsof Chance”, are works of transformation, whether Morris sounding like the interior of a piano on the former and a bowed cello on the latter; Fernández mounting a virtuosic keyboard assault or creating a resonant soundscape or Wooley drawing out pained multiphonics or assembling wild scratching sounds.

Trumpets and Drums (Live in Ljubljana) is a dialogue between the two fundamental sonic components of the title. If there’s a martial tradition to trumpet and drum music there’s also a mystical one, as with Joshua and the battle of Jericho, but stronger still in the Tibetan Buddhist ritual music that combines long bass trumpets with metal and skin percussion. The quartet is built on several developed affinities: Wooley has long-running duos with both fellow trumpeter Peter Evans and drummer Paul Lytton; Evans has played with Lytton as a guest with the Parker-Guy-Lytton trio and Jim Black has played drums in Evans’ quartet. The performance is divided into two long segments, entitled “Beginning” and “End” and within those parameters there are moments of near silence, whispered trumpet tones and air through horns, gentle percussive rattlings, eerie scrapes and rustlings that demand rapt attention. Quavering electronics might arise from Wooley’s amplifier or from Black’s expanded kit. Elsewhere the reare moments of incendiary power, elemental music focused on mysteries of intensity and pitch.

The Nate Wooley Sextet is a variation on the Quintet that recorded 2010’s (Put Your) Hands Together. A forum for Wooley’s compositions, (Sit In) The Throne of Friendship retains bass clarinetist/baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton, vibraphonist Matt Moran and drummer Harris Eisenstadt while bassist Eivind Opsvik either alternates with newly arrived tuba player Dan Peck or they appear together. The style suggests the Blue Note ‘free’ school and the simultaneous presence of vibraphone and bass clarinet emphasizes the Eric Dolphy influence (“Make Your Friend Feel Loved” seems to reference Dolphy’s “G.W.”). This is exploratory, varied music, alive with passion and dialogue. It’s also exuberant, whether Sinton shouting through his baritone or Peck crafting an unaccompanied introduction. While Wooley is as ‘athome’ with free improvisation as any musician, the forms here emphasize the expressiveness of his lines: on the mournful “My Story, My Story” he combines variations of pitch and inflection to achieve an emotional depth equal to that of Miles Davis or Don Cherry, rare terrain for any trumpeter.

Expresso review by João Santos

CF 280Nate Wooley Sextet – (SIT IN) THE THRONE OF FRIENDSHIP (CF 280)
****
Zeloso curador na eminente “Database of Recorded American Music” e inspirado editor e redator na trimestral “Sound American”, Nate Wooley vasculha habilmente nesse espaço em que se arquivam as vanguardas norte-americanas. Quer isto dizer que, contrariamente à opinião comum, que deprecia aspetos hereditários em manifestações artísticas de singular configuração – e, durante anos, Wooley foi tido como um xamane do insólito –, o trompetista cumpre os requisitos para que se entenda a sua ação à luz de um, quiçá subterrâneo, contínuo cultural, no qual, por entre um número excecional de forças expressivas, cabe, naturalmente, essa que se pratica numa jurisdição invulgarmente atenta aos direitos de sucessão e se apelida de jazz. Seria, aliás, presunçoso e injusto considerar que a sua produção – ao lado da de análogos instrumentistas como Peter Evans, Greg Kelley, Franz Hautzinger ou Axel Dörner, invariavelmente coadunados na estirpe de Bill Dixon – se gerava, qual erva-daninha, espontânea e invasoramente. Dir-se-á que o quinteto – agora, com o ingresso do tubista Dan Peck, expandido para sexteto – há dois anos responsável por “(Put Your) Hands Together” se formou para dar resposta a esta questão, ainda que salvaguardando uma premissa essencial: afiançar que cada um dos seus agentes não se aliena no conjunto de vínculos históricos que possa reivindicar. Ou seja, Wooley, Peck, Josh Sinton (saxofone barítono e clarinete baixo), Matt Moran (vibrafone), Eivind Opsvik (contrabaixo) e Harris Eisenstadt (bateria) promovem aqui – numa sessão que tem como único senão uma escrita nem sempre à altura dos acontecimentos – uma genial abstração do pendor relacional no jazz contemporâneo, evocando simultaneamente as mais extáticas e elegantes características que procedem da sua fundação enquanto linguagem. Um caso sério.