by Martin Longley
This is one of New York's most exciting improvising combos, but the Totem trio tends to ration out its gigs, rarely playing in the area. Thus, their Brooklyn-recorded disc, Solar Forgeis recommended. Even though no performance will be alike, it's a reasonable guide to the trio's general sound and strategy. Bruce Eisenbeil's guitar has a very noticeable stereo-splitting, enlarging the vistas, sound, making tiny scrapes into potentially juddering strokes. He might be a brutalist, but the guitarist ...read more
by John Sharpe
The significance of the > sign in the group's name is unclear, but if it was taken to suggest that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts then few would argue. With components like Brooklyn-based guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil, bassist Tom Blancarte and drummer Andrew Drury, the result is certain to bear scant resemblance to a traditional guitar and rhythm section date.
In contrast to Eisenbeil's previous disc Inner Constellation (Nemu, 2007), which showcased his distinctive fretwork in ...read more
by Budd Kopman
There is an observation, which seconds as an insider joke, about free jazz and the loft scene in the sixties: There is no such thing as a bad session. Why? Because you cannot tell...." The implication here is, given that jazz is what the players say it is and that if there are no principles on which the listener can hang his ears and mind, then there is no way to judge whether it is good or bad. However, aesthetically, ...read more
by Budd Kopman
The astonishing Inner Constellation Volume One most definitely qualifies as difficult music. Not due to normal reasons including complexity, intricacy, abrasiveness or lack of musical touchstones, but rather that the title track, at forty-seven-plus minutes, needs to be listened to in toto. Guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil has much to say about the compositional impulse and structure of the work, from the techniques employed to the emotions and atmosphere he desires to present to the listener. All of this ...read more
by Martin Longley
Bruce Eisenbeil Sextet Inner Constellation, volume one Nemu 2007 The Nabobs Nixon is Dead? Konnex 2007
Guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil is the connecting force between these two discs, also being a member of The Nabobs improvising collective. As a leader, Eisenbeil is still heartily into spontaneity, but it's less clear where his ...read more
by Eyal Hareuveni
On Inner Constellation, his fifth release as a leader, New York-based guitarist and composer Bruce Eisenbeil attempts to link the musical worlds of John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor and Anthony Braxton with the vocabulary of contemporary classical composers such as Elliot Carter, Iannis Xenakis, György Ligeti and Karlheinz Stockhausen.
Over two years, Eisenbeil composed Inner Constellation," a composition that uses the instrumentation of Cecil Taylor's sextet from the late 1970s but alternates the piano with a loud Fender Stratocaster guitar. This ...read more
by Derek Taylor
Strong starts do not always ensure steady recording schedules. Jersey-based guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil experienced just such a surcease after a trio of laudable releases for CIMP. This new collective quintet recording on drummer Klaus Kugel's Nemu imprint puts him back in the record shop racks after a hiatus of several years. The band's name is something of a cipher. Its music is less cryptic--passionately concocted free jazz played with a strong, but never stolid, consensus of purpose.
Veteran ...read more