545

Eivind Opsvik: Overseas III; Koptor & This That

By

Sign in to view read count








Eivind Opsvik

Overseas III

Loyal Label

2008


Kevin Brow

Koptor

Fresh Sound-New Talent

2008


Jesse Stacken

This That

Fresh Sound-New Talent

2008


The third release by Eivind Opsvik's Overseas project puts the bassist's compositional interests in sharp focus. The high level of trust and the common vocabulary shared between these musicians is evident in every moment of the record, from the frenetic energy or empathic dialogue in the improvisations to cleanly executed readings of the written material. Saxophonist Tony Malaby, pianist Jacob Sacks and drummer Kenny Wollesen form the core of the group with Jeff Davis providing some excellent vibraphone and glockenspiel and Larry Campbell adding lap steel. With Sacks on an array of keyboards as well, there is a wonderfully expanded timbral palette.

It is a credit to Opsvik's writing that the pieces all have a very distinct character, referencing minimalist drone rock on "Breath of Bark" (with the repeating melodic figures juxtaposed against some of Malaby's most freewheeling aggressive blowing), or employing an austerity that calls to mind John Cage's earliest, Satie-inspired piano music at the beginning of "Ginger Rogers". Much of Overseas III has an almost cinematic emphasis on mood and the melancholy wistfulness of "Lull of Lumber" feels like end credits for a David Lynch film. Opsvik's carefully constructed orchestrations effectively prescribe mood while weaving each distinct voice into the music's fabric.

Opsvik has also recently appeared as a sideman on two other notable discs. Drummer Kevin Brow's Koptor features the aforementioned Sacks with Rob Mosher on soprano saxophone and oboe. Brow's tunes call to mind both of Keith Jarrett's quartets, which is in some ways a dream combination, benefitting from all the gentle lyricism of the European quartet while focusing on the more propulsive drive of the American band, as on "Second New Koptor" or "Underground". There is plenty of blowing room here but, nonetheless, the performances are always as much about highlighting Brow's wonderful writing as they are about the fiery improvisations it facilitates.

Jeff Davis and Opsvik are the rhythm team supporting pianist Jesse Stacken on This That. Stacken directs the trio's energy more through the often- fractured rhythmic abstractions of his piano work than through thematically-driven compositions though there are plenty of wonderful ones here; "Shady Oak," "Distraction" and "Ignored" are fine displays of his fluency with ambitious rhythmic structures. Nonetheless, the ear can't help but be drawn to the extemporaneous invention that flows from Stacken's playing. Davis provides emphatic support, matching Stacken's knack for multiplicity with fluid time- keeping and colorful, lush cymbal work. As with Opsvik's Overseas project, this is an ensemble that has worked together for a while now. The energy ebbs and flows, displaying unity towards a common direction, even as fragments of tonalities and rhythmic fluidity are strewn throughout the sonic environment.

Tracks and Personnel



Overseas III

Tracks: Neil; Everseas; Silver; Ginger Rogers; Breath of Bark; Whiff of Wood; Lull of Lumber.

Personnel: Eivind Opsvik: upright bass, tack piano; Jacob Sacks: piano, Farfisa organ, celeste, Wurlitzer; Tony Malaby: tenor saxophone; Kenny Wollesen: drums, cymbals, gongs, timpani; Larry Campbell: pedal steel guitar; Jeff Davis: vibraphone, xylophone.



Koptor

Tracks: Frograbbit; Maske I Overmorgen; How Does Water Flow; Outer Spokes Center Hole; Underground; Imaginary Lines; Black Bear; Jeg Gjorde Det I Forgars; First New Koptor; Second New Koptor; Third New Koptor; Kobs Mejkr.

Personnel: Kevin Brow: drums; Eivind Opsvik: bass; Jacob Sacks: piano; Rob Mosher: alto saxophone, English horn.



This That

Tracks: Distractions; Sad Sidewalk; North Shore; Inventor; Bulge in Tire; Ignored; Birds in Slow Motion; Climb a Tree; That That; Current.

Personnel: Jesse Stacken: piano; Eivind Opsvik: bass; Jeff Davis: drums.

Shop

More Articles

Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read New, Notable and Nearly Missed Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read Weekertoft Hits Its Stride… Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 4, 2017
Read 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon Multiple Reviews 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Rich Robinson: Solo Reissues" Multiple Reviews Rich Robinson: Solo Reissues
by Doug Collette
Published: April 30, 2016
Read "Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio" Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "Two  Scandinavian Jazz Orchestras" Multiple Reviews Two Scandinavian Jazz Orchestras
by John Eyles
Published: May 23, 2016
Read "Rolling Stones: Sweet Summer Sun & Havana Moon DVD/CD" Multiple Reviews Rolling Stones: Sweet Summer Sun & Havana Moon DVD/CD
by Doug Collette
Published: November 13, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!