Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

3

Harris Eisenstadt: Golden State II

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Drummer Harris Eisenstadt's Golden State—the avant-chamber group that he formed while he was in residence at the California Institute of the Arts in 2012—is a meeting of minds and instincts. In its initial form, with bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck, bassist Mark Dresser, and flutist Nicole Mitchell, this ensemble created music that was smart and offbeat. Logic and surprise were both at play in the sounds that these four made together. They refused to draw out clear distinctions between pre-composed thought and improvised ideas, but they still managed to give a clear sense that both aspects were working hand-in-hand in the music.

Those same comments could easily be applied to the band's plainly-titled sophomore release, recorded live at the 2014 TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival. But Mitchell's absence and the arrival of clarinetist Michael Moore obviously alter the chemistry of this group. Eisenstadt rightly hails Moore for the "spontaneous orchestration" that's prominent in his work here (and elsewhere). That aspect of Moore's artistry is apparent when observing his witty and sprightly excursions on "The Arrangement Of Unequal Things"—a great showing that stands in sharp contrast to Schoenbeck's more decorous statements preceding it—and his brush with jazz of the somewhat more conventional variety during "A Particularity With A Universal Resonance." He incorporates tonal oddities, pirouetting phrases, lyrical gestures, space, and oblique ideas into his compelling escapades. And most importantly, he fits perfectly into the types of sonic schemes that Eisenstadt, Schoenbeck, and Dresser have come to create over time.

While noteworthy compositional strategies and structural elements are at play, with mixed meter foundations on "The Arrangement Of Unequal Things," overlapping phrases of two different lengths during "Seven In Six," and a well-choreographed introduction on "Agency," the greatest thrills usually come with the moments of impulsivity and improvisation. Schoenbeck's gritty and graceful stand on "Agency," a tantrum-esque Eisenstadt solo that separates the two pieces during the continuously-running "Seven In Six/A Particularity With A Universal Resonance," and Dresser's opening statements on "A Kind Of Resigned Indignation" bear that out, as does the group interplay on the dicey "Gleaning." The forces of individualism and solidarity are both alive and well here.

Track Listing: The Arrangement of Unequal Things; Seven In Six/A Particularity with a Universal Resonance; A Kind of Resigned Indignation; Agency; Gleaning.

Personnel: Harris Eisenstadt: batteria; Sara Schoenbeck: fagotto; Michael Moore: clarinetto; Mark Dresser: contrabbasso.

Title: Golden State II | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Songlines Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Formidable CD/LP/Track Review Formidable
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Cochonnerie CD/LP/Track Review Cochonnerie
by John Sharpe
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Smoke CD/LP/Track Review Smoke
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Threes CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "Deep Memory" CD/LP/Track Review Deep Memory
by John Sharpe
Published: December 22, 2016
Read "The Joy of Being" CD/LP/Track Review The Joy of Being
by John Sharpe
Published: April 12, 2017
Read "Pelagos" CD/LP/Track Review Pelagos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 3, 2017
Read "Blue Canvas" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Canvas
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "Bright Lights & Promises: Redefining Janis Ian" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Lights & Promises: Redefining Janis Ian
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "The Invariant" CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor