Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

121

Eisenbeil / Attias / Taylor / Rosen: Opium

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
The year 2001 was a banner annum for Bruce Eisenbeil. Increased attention through a high profile gig with living legend Milford Graves at the Vision Festival and a pivotal role in Cecil Taylor's workshop ensemble earlier in the year cocked more critical ears in his direction and this latest release on CIMP is sure to continue the rising wave of interest. The music is no easy listen, filled with gnarled, abstract fretwork and ornery horn noises but adventurous listeners are likely to glean a sense of satisfaction scouring its craggy sonic crevices.

"Shadows Knight starts the disc slow, gaining steam for an eventual launch into a tempest of scrabbling arppegiations. The interchange between Eisenbeil and Rosen forms virtually the entire crux of the piece, with the horns riffing nakedly against the violently percussive string and drum barrage. On "Biting Through the band shows off a unique method of harmonic mastication gnawing on low breath sounds and oscillating tones before Attias and Taylor break the near silence with a string of unceremonious bass register blurts. Taylor's buzzing lines on "Expectation almost sound like errant ribbons of feedback from Eisenbeil's amps. There's a rampant sense of the methodical about Eisenbeil's style, but it's also disarmingly hypnotic. Paying respects to another iconoclastic plectrist Eisenbeil's "Ode to Blind Joe Death eulogizes John Fahey in a spidery excursion that echoes several of the dearly departed guitarist's string-born idiosyncrasies.

With "Whale Booty Stomp the quartet comes arguably closest to a cleanly stated groove and its partly because Eisenbeil opts to sit out on the piece. Spinning from robust riffing to spiraling linear explosions the two horns corkscrew out a choppy counterpoint against Rosen's rioting traps. "Kinetic Pimp is cut from correspondent cloth, but this time Eisenbeil gets in on the action loosing forth fragmented icicle-sharp chords. Other pieces like "Opium 2 (the absence of its predecessor is never explained) and the mysteriously titled "Climbing to the Zoot Base are significantly more amorphous and it requires a patient ear to plumb their respective depths. Such diligence is well rewarded and this disc delivers the goods to those willing to dig beneath the surface. Eisenbeil is earning a place amongst the top improvisers on his instrument and with disc his ascending reputation is certain to continue its steady rise.

Track Listing: 1.Shadows Knight 2.Biting through 3.Expectation 4.Whale Booty Stomp 5.Kinetic Pimp 6.Ode To Blind Joe Death 7.Over 8.Opium 2 9.Climbing To The Zoot Base 10.Oklahoma Sprawl 11.Whisper 12. New Years Eve

Personnel: Bruce Eisenbeil: acoustic & electric guitars, leader

Title: Opium | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: CIMP Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Opium

Opium

CIMP Records
2015

buy
Solar Forge

Solar Forge

ESP Disk
2009

buy
Solar Forge

Solar Forge

ESP Disk
2008

buy
 

Carnival Skin

Emerald Green Sound
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Sheer Reckless Abandon Album Reviews
Sheer Reckless Abandon
By John Kelman
May 19, 2019
Read Gratitude: Stage Door Live @ the Z Album Reviews
Gratitude: Stage Door Live @ the Z
By Jack Bowers
May 19, 2019
Read To My Brothers Album Reviews
To My Brothers
By Victor L. Schermer
May 19, 2019
Read Social Music Album Reviews
Social Music
By Roger Farbey
May 19, 2019
Read Circle Inside The Folds Album Reviews
Circle Inside The Folds
By John Eyles
May 18, 2019
Read Momentum Album Reviews
Momentum
By Jerome Wilson
May 18, 2019
Read Bonsai Club Album Reviews
Bonsai Club
By Roger Farbey
May 18, 2019