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Harris Eisenstadt: The Soul and Gone (2006)

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Harris Eisenstadt: The Soul and Gone No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Composer/percussionist/drummer Harris Eisenstadt made a brief trip to Chicago to mix it up with the locals, and the lively and listenable new music scene he encountered inspired him to document the action. He returned to Los Angeles long enough to grab some scores and reed roaster Jason Mears, and The Soul and Gone was born. Utilizing heavy hitters Jason Adasiewicz (vibes), Jeb Bishop (trombone), Jason Roebke (bass) and Jeff Parker (guitar), Eisenstadt brings a slightly jazzier compositional bent to this music. Still drawing on contemporary classical and world music elements, he creates unique and compelling soundscapes for his world-class band to roam.

"The Evidence of Absence..." opens with an energetic theme that simmers down to a quartet. Adasiewicz and Roebke spar with Eisenstadt, sparking cymbal, rim and snare. Parker oozes and implies chordal accompaniment. Mears and Bishop growl, buzz, flutter and smear to open "Three Breaths," while Parker, Adasiewicz, and Roebke play a languid unison. An extended clarinet/trombone duo thrills with its careening mutations. The other four make the most of minimalism, hatching small flurries. Parker, Roebke, and Eisenstadt set up "Portrait of Holden Caufield." A contrapuntal trio molds melodies, then Eisenstadt replaces Bishop and Mears takes flight in trio with vibes and drums. An atmospheric ballad, "Seed," approaches softly with a slow building intensity. "And a Hard Place" continues that intensity, pausing for several measures of Bishop solo magic, followed by a raw passionate reading by Mears.

The Soul and Gone continues to document the burgeoning career of Harris Eisenstadt, also providing a summit meeting between great improvisers from the West Coast and the Midwest.

Track Listing: Evidence of Absence; Three Breaths; Portrait of Holden Caufield; Posauno y Schlagwerk; Kola #2; Seed; And a Hard Place.

Personnel: Harris Eisenstadt: drums; Jason Adasiewicz: vibes; Jason Roebke: bass; Jeb Bishop: trombone; Jason Mears: alto saxophone, clarinet; Jeff Parker: guitar.

Record Label: 482 Music

Style: Modern Jazz


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