199

Harris Eisenstadt: Guewel

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Drummer Harris Eisenstadt's recording, Guewel, isn't jazz. That is to say, it isn't jazz in the American sense of the word but, rather, jazz in the West African musical tradition.

Eisenstadt, a Canadian-born New Yorker, is a student of the art of drumming. His two trips to Gambia and Senegal inspire this recording and his previous release, Jalolu (CIMP, 2003). He adapts traditional and popular music of Senegal within Sabar, the traditional dance and drumming styles. But putting all the ethnomusicology aside, the music heard here is very engaging and full of high-level playing. Think Art Ensemble of Chicago, toss in Kahil El Zabar and small-group Sun Ra and one gets a sense of Eisenstadt's starting point.

Eisenstadt has been playing the Sabar music for some time, and he recruits this non-chordal lineup of Josh Sinton (baritone saxophone), Mark Taylor (French horn), Nate Wooley (trumpet), and Taylor Ho Bynun (cornet) to present a small chamber marching band. Certainly these musicians aren't marching, but this music clearly represents the sound of a small village, used to mark major events like weddings, holidays, and baby-namings. It's like a high school football game with some of the hippest beats at half-time.

The disc opens with "N'daga/Coonu Aduna," an off-kilter march that morphs into a merry freeform with the horn players making bird calls and shouts of joy. While the freedom (in a jazz sense) reigns, Eisenstadt keeps true to the beat here and throughout the recording, always centering the music in the tradition.

The general pulse of this Sabar music is constant throughout. The unusual front line of baritone saxophone, trumpet, French horn, and cornet makes for a slightly offsetting approach. But each of the improvisers make it all the more interesting and ultimately deliver a very satisfying recording.


Track Listing: N'daga; Coonu Aduna; Kaolak/N'Wolof; Dayourabine; Thiolena; Barambiye/Djarama; Rice and Fish/Liiti Liiti.

Personnel: Harris Eisenstadt: drums, arrangements; Taylor Ho Bynum: cornet, flugelhorn; Nate Wooley: trumpet; Mark Taylor: French horn; Josh Sinton: baritone saxophone.

Title: Guewel | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Provenance CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 17, 2017
Read No Matter Where Noir CD/LP/Track Review No Matter Where Noir
by Patrick Burnette
Published: November 17, 2017
Read Out Of Silence CD/LP/Track Review Out Of Silence
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 17, 2017
Read Plodi CD/LP/Track Review Plodi
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 17, 2017
Read Secret Language CD/LP/Track Review Secret Language
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 17, 2017
Read Shamat CD/LP/Track Review Shamat
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 16, 2017
Read "Together, As One" CD/LP/Track Review Together, As One
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "The Things We Did Last Summer" CD/LP/Track Review The Things We Did Last Summer
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 5, 2017
Read "Brass Mask Live" CD/LP/Track Review Brass Mask Live
by Duncan Heining
Published: May 1, 2017
Read "First Light" CD/LP/Track Review First Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "To the Bone" CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by John Kelman
Published: August 26, 2017
Read "Groovin’ Hard - Live at the Penthouse 1964 - 1968" CD/LP/Track Review Groovin’ Hard - Live at the Penthouse 1964 - 1968
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 11, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor