Improvising guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil’s acute vision and authoritative control of his instrument is conveyed in gleaming fashion on this live Trio date titled, Mural. He’s been creating a buzz around the New York City area since emerging on the modern jazz scene a few years back as a complex musician who integrates buzz saw like single note runs, with sweeping chord progressions, smooth clear toned picking, delicate phrasing and more. Here, along with drummer Ryan Sawyer and bassist J. Brunka, Eisenbeil exhibits startling chops yet pursues cunning thematic development while reaping the benefits of a sturdy and altogether flexible rhythm section who share Eisenbeil’s penchant for rapid motion and highly literate improv. Pieces such as the 16-minute “Caesar” and “Woman With A Handful Of Rain” depict fierce conversational activity as Eisenbeil is ever the instigator while directing traffic and shifting the pulse on a moment’s notice as the rhythm section also illustrate their highly individualistic voices. Here and throughout, Eisenbeil is also a colorist and somewhat prone to execute heavy handed and incredibly quick strumming, as the illusion of two guitarists come to mind within several passages. Complimenting and rounding out a rather ubiquitous group sound, drummer Ryan Sawyer often works behind the pulse or on top of it, while J. Brunka is apt to toggle between arco-bass and fleet-fingered single note lines as the trio exhibit tireless energy often producing a hypnotic and somewhat circuitous flow. Occasionally, Eisenbeil cuts and slashes his guitar to shreds through a weaving and ephemeral approach, as everything seems comfortably in its place.
Without a doubt, Mural is an exciting and extremely captivating piece of work from the “Bruce Eisenbeil Crosscurrent Trio” as the guitarist and superb rhythm section provide the listener with sophisticated, clear-sighted improvisation which gains momentum upon repeated listens. Recommended! * * * *
Bruce Eisenbeil; Electric Guitar: J. Brunka; Bass: Ryan Sawyer; Drums