Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

298

Carnival Skin: Carnival Skin

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
Strong starts do not always ensure steady recording schedules. Jersey-based guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil experienced just such a surcease after a trio of laudable releases for CIMP. This new collective quintet recording on drummer Klaus Kugel's Nemu imprint puts him back in the record shop racks after a hiatus of several years. The band's name is something of a cipher. Its music is less cryptic—passionately concocted free jazz played with a strong, but never stolid, consensus of purpose.

Veteran bassist Hill Greene joins Kugel in providing the ensemble's engine. His stout strings, swollen by amplification, gird the sound floor like trunks of tall timber. Kugel is a mercurial stimulus behind his kit, deploying the same degree of focused energy he applied recently to the bands of saxophonist James Finn, whether by building walls of frothing rhythm or by easing back into a colorful accent mode. The front line of Perry Robinson and Peter Evans, the latter doubling on piccolo trumpet, an instrument new to me, further diversifies the proceedings. This is definitely a group were variance of experience and style work as core virtues.

Reflective of the shared leadership, the program includes a composition apiece from each player and concludes with the sharp-toothed collective improvisation of the title cut. Robinson's "Journey to the Strange weaves slivers of Ornette and Monk into a playfully spun free bop braid that runs from prickly and frayed to strenuously swinging. Eisenbeil fills the space between Evans and Robinson solos with one of his signature arpeggiated blizkriegs, bent smoking notes raining in droves. Evans' "Monster opens as a slowly loping blues only to erupt at periodic points with blasts of communal dissonance.

Greene's "Iono belongs to a improvisatory lineage that includes Coltrane's "Spiritual and Sonny Sharrock's "Many Mansions, a power dirge steeped in pathos-driven overtones. Eisenbeil again steals the spotlight, his jagged hammering blues chords echoing the sort of controlled chaos pioneered by Sharrock, while the others build a swirling funnel of sound that builds to a crescendoing climax. Kugel's "Bobosong and Eisenbeil's "Diagonal People progress through dynamic shifts that stretch from passages of somber quiet to flareups of explosive jangling catharsis.

It's unclear whether this group will be an ongoing outlet for these players' creative energies, but based on the merits of their union, future albums seem like requisite ventures. Either way, it's good to have Eisenbeil back on disc—though, as he'll probably be the first to admit, he never really left.

Track Listing: Journey to Strange; Monster; Iono; Bobosong; Diagonal People; Carnival Skin.

Personnel: Bruce Eisenbeil: guitar; Klaus Kugel: drums; Perry Robinson: clarinet; Peter Evans: trumpet, piccolo trumpet; Hillard Greene: double bass. (Recorded April 2005, NYC.)

Title: Carnival Skin | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: NEMU Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Opium

Opium

CIMP Records
2015

buy
Solar Forge

Solar Forge

ESP Disk
2009

buy
Solar Forge

Solar Forge

ESP Disk
2008

buy
 

Carnival Skin

Emerald Green Sound
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Nexus Album Reviews
Nexus
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 23, 2019
Read The Second Coming Album Reviews
The Second Coming
By Daniel Barbiero
May 23, 2019
Read Luminária Album Reviews
Luminária
By John Sharpe
May 23, 2019
Read Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band Album Reviews
Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band
By Jerome Wilson
May 23, 2019
Read When Will The Blues Leave Album Reviews
When Will The Blues Leave
By Karl Ackermann
May 22, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Dan Bilawsky
May 22, 2019
Read Infinite Itinerant Album Reviews
Infinite Itinerant
By Geno Thackara
May 22, 2019