All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

133

Harris Eisenstadt: Canada Day II

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Are life events audible in music? They would certainly seem to be in the case of Canadian drummer/composer Harris Eisenstadt. Half the tracks on Canada Day II were composed around the time of his son's birth. One track is dedicated to his youngster, and the genesis of two others was related to public schools, so Eisenstadt wanted the cover to recall childhood summers at camp. In fact, there is a pervasive brightness and childlike innocence to much of this second offering from the drummer's Canada Day ensemble, representing a subtle but noticeable evolution from their more edgy eponymous debut (Clean Feed, 2008).

It's almost a critical knee-jerk reaction to suggest that any group sporting vibes in place of piano—Chris Dingman, this time out—evokes those 1960s Blue Note sides featuring Bobby Hutcherson, but Eisenstadt's band does that, and more. At the same time as fitting smoothly within the contemporary mainstream in terms of melodic invention and rhythmic sophistication, the twin horns of saxophonist Matt Bauder and trumpeter Nate Wooley also stretch convention, sometimes near the breaking point.

Bauder emanates authority across a range of styles, moving assuredly from breathy Ben Webster-isms to controlled post-John Coltrane over-blowing. The one constant that remains is the unexpected twists and turns in his unconventional phrasing. Wooley constitutes a good foil, often staying within the harmonic contours of a piece, only for his tone to splinter and fray into noise: his fast spluttering solo on the multisectioned "To See/Tootie" providing a perfect example. In spite of his leadership mantle, Eisenstadt stays largely in the shadows, stepping out only in the tumbling intro to the opening "Cobble Hook." But, together with Eivind Opsvik, he maintains an elegant control, speeding or retarding tempo in a relaxed but wiry swing. Dingman's bright chiming runs color the ensembles, crashing in waves, but sometimes, as in "Judo For Tokyo Joe (for John Zorn)" recalling the percussive ring of steel pans in an Americana-tinged setting.

By now it should be no surprise that the drummer pens such lovely themes: both "To Seventeen" and, particularly, the sweet "Song For Owen (for Owen Eisenstadt)" inspire lilting reveries from the horns. It's not a universally sunny outlook: "Now Longer" is jarring and vaguely menacing, while "To Eh" conjures a melancholic folksy feel. But taken as a whole, Canada Day II delivers a fine set of tunes to hum along to, that still snap the synapses.

Track Listing: Cobble Hook; To Seventeen; Song For Owen (for Owen Eisenstadt); Now Longer; To Eh; To Be;To See/Tootie; Judo For Tokyo Joe (for John Zorn).

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

Title: Canada Day II | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Songlines Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Interlude (duo 2)

Interlude (duo 2)

Harris Eisenstadt
Recent Developments

The Arrangement of Unequal Things

The Arrangement of Unequal Things

Harris Eisenstadt
Golden State II

Song For Owen

Song For Owen

Harris Eisenstadt
Canada Day II

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
On Parade In Parede

On Parade In Parede

Clean Feed Records
2017

buy
Recent Developments

Recent Developments

Songlines Recordings
2017

buy
Canada Day IV

Canada Day IV

Songlines Recordings
2015

buy
Golden State II

Golden State II

Songlines Recordings
2015

buy
Golden State

Golden State

Songlines Recordings
2013

buy
The Destructive Element

The Destructive...

Clean Feed Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Drift CD/LP/Track Review
Drift
by Paul Rauch
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Journey Moments CD/LP/Track Review
Journey Moments
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Moku Maluhia - Peaceful Island CD/LP/Track Review
Moku Maluhia - Peaceful Island
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Night Concert CD/LP/Track Review
Night Concert
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Rumah Batu CD/LP/Track Review
Rumah Batu
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 17, 2018
Read The Bat Swings! CD/LP/Track Review
The Bat Swings!
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 17, 2018
Read "Bright Force" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Force
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2018
Read "Just The Way We Are" CD/LP/Track Review Just The Way We Are
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 27, 2017
Read "Lala Belu" CD/LP/Track Review Lala Belu
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 27, 2018
Read "Soul Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Soul Trio
by Anthony Shaw
Published: August 24, 2017
Read "Rain or Shine" CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read "Italy 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Italy 2016
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 30, 2017