Harris Eisenstadt: Canada Day (2009)

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Harris Eisenstadt: Canada Day
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
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
, Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
b.1933
saxophone
and Tony Williams
Tony Williams
Tony Williams
1945 - 1997
drums
. Across a breadth of eight pieces, most of which reference travel, home and experience, the leader is joined by regular collaborators (trumpeter Nate Wooley
Nate Wooley
Nate Wooley
b.1974
trumpet
and vibraphonist Chris Dingman
Chris Dingman
Chris Dingman
b.1980
vibraphone
) 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.

Track Listing: Don't Gild the Lily; Halifax; After an Outdoor Bath; And When to Come Back; Keep Casting Rods; Kategeeper; Ups and Downs; Every Day is Canada Day.

Personnel: Harris Eisenstadt: drums; Nate Wooley: trumpet; Matt Bauder: tenor saxophone; Chris Dingman: vibraphone; Eivind Opsvik: bass.

Record Label: Clean Feed Records

Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


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