Eivind Opsvik: Overseas III; Koptor & This That


Sign in to view read count

Eivind Opsvik

Overseas III

Loyal Label


Kevin Brow


Fresh Sound-New Talent


Jesse Stacken

This That

Fresh Sound-New Talent


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.


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.


More Articles

Read Tim Motzer: Wandering the Depths of Space Multiple Reviews Tim Motzer: Wandering the Depths of Space
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Cassette Plus Download Labels Multiple Reviews Cassette Plus Download Labels
by John Eyles
Published: May 3, 2017
Read Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series Multiple Reviews Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2017
Read 440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights Multiple Reviews 440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 21, 2017
Read Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa Dos Ventos Multiple Reviews Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 17, 2017
Read Duke Ellington on Storyville Records Multiple Reviews Duke Ellington on Storyville Records
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 20, 2017
Read "Blues Spotlight: Robert Finley / Donald Jay Johnson And Gas Blues Band / The King Brothers" Multiple Reviews Blues Spotlight: Robert Finley / Donald Jay Johnson And Gas...
by James Nadal
Published: November 19, 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 "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 "Two  Scandinavian Jazz Orchestras" Multiple Reviews Two Scandinavian Jazz Orchestras
by John Eyles
Published: May 23, 2016
Read "Lee Morgan On Music Matters" Multiple Reviews Lee Morgan On Music Matters
by Greg Simmons
Published: March 6, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.