16

Eivind Opsvik: Overseas V

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
Like his first four Overseas albums, Eivind Opsvik's Overseas V defies conventional descriptions. The New York resident, of Norwegian roots, has developed a peculiar style that marries experimental avant-garde with the folkloric traditions of the North Country. This had been particularly evident on IV when Brandon Seabrook's mandolin and Jacob Sacks' harpsichord meet up with Tony Malaby's saxophone and Kenny Wollesen creative percussion. The cultural clash manages to succeed as a new entity. The quintet personnel remain the same, but the old-world vibe is diminished in favor of a multi-directional edginess on the new album.

Opsvik studied classical bass at the Norwegian Academy of Music and had played with Paal Nilssen-Love and Christian Wallumrod before relocating to the US in 1998. In NYC he teamed up on projects with Anthony Braxton, John Zorn and Nate Wooley to name just a few. Opsvik's Overseas project relates to his two homes and the Atlantic between them; the concept helps to explain the core divergences in his compositions. The current band has been intact since 2005 with the exception of Seabrook who joined in 2010 (and who is showing up everywhere these days).

While there are stylistic differences between IV and V, Opsvik's eccentric composing and arranging are no easier to clarify. The opening "I'm Up This Step" is a case in point with its progressive rock shadings meshing with modern jazz and some less tangible aspects as Seabrook and Malaby engage in a tug-of-war. Wollesen supplies powerful, primal rhythms on "Hold Everything" seemingly taking Sacks and Malaby to a different plane. The leader shines in his diverse playing on "Brraps!"-something of a dance tune in an asymmetrical spin cycle. "Katmania Duskmann" is a feverish mashup of rock guitar and wailing saxophone with Wollesen keeping a thread of coherence. The drummer, in fact, has a more consistently dominant role on Overseas V as heard in the unrelenting beat that invites Seabrook and Opsvik to follow suit on "First Challenge of the Road."

The collection has an odd way of feeling like a lucid program even as it morphs through seemingly un-diagrammed changes; as in the broad inspirations for "IZO" and the angular avant-garde stylings of "Cozy Little Nightmare." Sacks and Opsvik—while very integral to the proceedings—are a bit more nuanced on Overseas V but this isn't a recording that relies on solos. The complexity of Opsvik's arrangeing is in the constantly moving pieces within his unique compositions.

Track Listing: I'm Up This Step; Hold Everything; Extraterrestrial Tantrum; Brraps!; Cozy Little Nightmare; First Challenge on the Road; Shoppers and Pickpockets; IZO; Katmania Duskmann.

Personnel: Tony Malaby: sassofono (tenore); Brandon Seabrook: chitarra elettrica; Jacob Sacks: piano, organo; Eivind Opsvik: contrabbasso, elettronica, drum machine; Kenny Wollesen: batteria, percussioni, drum machine.

Title: Overseas V | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Loyal Label


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Incidentals" CD/LP/Track Review Incidentals
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 29, 2017
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 17, 2016
Read "Eka" CD/LP/Track Review Eka
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 21, 2017
Read "Resonance" CD/LP/Track Review Resonance
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 15, 2017
Read "Panthalassa: The Music Of Miles Davis 1969-1974" CD/LP/Track Review Panthalassa: The Music Of Miles Davis 1969-1974
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: December 23, 2016
Read "Forgive and Forget" CD/LP/Track Review Forgive and Forget
by Edward Blanco
Published: January 9, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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