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Harris Eisenstadt, Whit Dickey, Gard Nilssen and More

Read "Harris Eisenstadt, Whit Dickey, Gard Nilssen and More" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

A very eclectic show this time out: drummers are front and center: Joao Lencastre, Whit Dickey, Gard Nilssen, Harris Eisenstadt, Kahil El'Zabar from the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble and Germany's Max Andrzejewski. The latter and his band Hütte are tackling the music of rocker/composer Robert Wyatt. If that isn't off the wall, how about a combination of a Spinal Tap piece layered with an Ornette Coleman tune performed by the Michael Leonhart Orchestra? There's freer stuff from the likes of the ...

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Harris Eisenstadt Old Growth Forest: Old Growth Forest II

Read "Old Growth Forest II" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The eternal debate persists. Is Harris Eisenstadt primarily a drummer or a composer? He composes music for orchestra and chamber ensembles, yet he leads several jazz groups including Canada Day (a quintet and sometimes quartet or octet), the small large ensemble Recent Developments, and this quartet with trombonist Jeb Bishop, saxophonist Tony Malaby, and bassist Jason Roebke. Like the new breed of percussion leaders Tyshawn Sorey and John Hollenbeck, Eisenstadt eschews the hulking Art Blakey / Tony Williams / Elvin ...

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Harris Eisenstadt: Recent Developments

Read "Recent Developments" reviewed by John Sharpe

How do you pass the tedium of a long haul flight? Catch up on sleep, or take in those films you meant to watch but never got round to viewing? Few of us spend the time as productively as Canadian drummer Harris Eisenstadt who sketched out the main elements of his Recent Developments suite on the return home from tour. In spite of the prosaic titling the performance by a stellar nine strong band more than matches the standard set ...

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Harris Eisenstadt: On Parade In Parede

Read "On Parade In Parede" reviewed by John Sharpe

In Italian writer Antonio Tabucchi's acclaimed 1994 novel Pereira Maintains, a critical turning point comes during the central character's stay in the spa town of Parede in Portugal. It's not too much of an exaggeration to suggest a similar advance for drummer Harris Eisenstadt's Canada Day in a live date from the same locale. Usually a quintet (occasionally even an octet), the unit has provided an accomplished vehicle for Eisenstadt's small group compositional output. But stripped back to a foursome, ...

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Harris Eisenstadt: Recent Developments

Read "Recent Developments" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Canadian native and Brooklyn resident Harris Eisenstadt has built a solid reputation as a composer, matching accolades for his eclectic expertise as a drummer. His passion as a student of the art has taken him to West Africa, where he has studied the music of the Wolof people and Cuba, where he has delved deeply into Afro-Cuban music. A leader/co-leader on more than two-dozen releases, beginning with Last Minute of Play in This Period (Questionable Records, 2001), Eisenstadt is also ...

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Harris Eisenstadt: Canada Day IV

Read "Canada Day IV" reviewed by Troy Collins

Canada Day has been drummer Harris Eisenstadt's flagship ensemble since its first gig on July 1, 2007--his homeland's national holiday, hence the band name. In the ensuing years the quintet has developed an identifiably cohesive sound that expertly balances avant-garde explorations and in-the-pocket swing, with only one significant personnel change; the bass chair is now filled by Pascal Niggenkemper, the group's third bassist. Eisenstadt's writing for the unit continues to expand upon post-modern jazz traditions in intriguing ways. ...

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Harris Eisenstadt: Golden State II

Read "Golden State II" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

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 ...

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Harris Eisenstadt: Golden State

Read "Golden State" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Toronto-born drummer, composer Harris Eisenstadt is headquartered in the fertile artistic environs of New York City, and each new release divulges his thirst for ingenuity. He's emerged as an important voice within progressive jazz circles while gathering the crème de la crème of artists to help support his visions. Thus, Golden State is a polyrhythmic presentation that unites jazz and an ultra-modern chamber perspective, featuring poll-winning flautist Nicole Mitchell and bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck. Recorded in California, the album title refers ...

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Harris Eisenstadt September Trio: The Destructive Element

Read "The Destructive Element" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Celebrated for his musicality and leadership, drummer Harris Eisenstadt is a modernist who dispels preconceived notions that a drummers' primary function is to keep time, and prop the frontline along with a bassist. With this 2013 instilment of his September Trio, he ingrains organic textures and a touchy feely loose groove modus operandi when not engaging his band-mates in structured unison choruses. Eisenstadt also imparts his clever call and response mechanisms when jabbing with tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin and pianist ...

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Harris Eisenstadt September Trio: The Destructive Element

Read "The Destructive Element" reviewed by Mark Corroto

In a jazz setting, the traditional role for a bassist is to keep time, and in effect be the glue that holds a composition--and essentially the jazz unit--together. Maybe that is the reason is why drummer Harris Eisenstadt chose to construct his September Trio sans bassist. Aptly named, The Destructive Element follows the September Trio of Eisenstadt, pianist Angelica Sanchez and tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin's eponymous Clean Feed Records debut from 2011.It's not that the music here is ...

INTERVIEWS

Harris Eisenstadt: Full Steam Ahead

Read "Harris Eisenstadt: Full Steam Ahead" reviewed by James Pearse

As well as three current working (and touring) ensembles, a busy recording schedule and a flourishing teaching career, Toronto, Canada-born percussionist/composer Harris Eisenstadt is also a family man. Now settled in New York City, it's been a busy year, with four recordings-September Trio (Clean Feed, 2011), Canada Day III (Songlines, 2012), Canada Day II (Songlines, 2011), Canada Day Octet (482 Music, 2012)-all released within the last twelve months or so; a release schedule rivaled only by guitarist Bill Frisell and ...

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Harris Eisenstadt: Canada Day III

Read "Canada Day III" reviewed by John Sharpe

The third installment in drummer Harris Eisenstadt's Canada Day adventure follows the same winning formula as established by Canada Day (Clean Feed, 2008) and Canada Day II (Songlines, 2011),carving out a distinctive niche on the contemporary jazz borderlands, with a nod to the '60s Blue Note territory of pianist Andrew Hill and reedmen Sam Rivers and Eric Dolphy. Recorded after touring, the band has thoroughly internalized the program, which has a harder edge than its predecessors, achieving a perfect balance ...


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