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Totem: Solar Forge

Read "Solar Forge" reviewed 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 ...

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Totem>: Solar Forge

Read "Solar Forge" reviewed 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 ...

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Totem>: Solar Forge

Read "Solar Forge" reviewed 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, ...

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Bruce Eisenbeil: Inner Constellation Volume 1

Read "Inner Constellation Volume 1" reviewed 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 ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Bruce Eisenbeil: Inner Constellation, v.1 & Nixon is Dead?

Read "Bruce Eisenbeil: Inner Constellation, v.1 & Nixon is Dead?" reviewed 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 ...

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Bruce Eisenbeil Sextet: Inner Constellation, Volume One

Read "Inner Constellation, Volume One" reviewed 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 ...

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Carnival Skin: Carnival Skin

Read "Carnival Skin" reviewed 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 ...

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Bruce Eisenbeil - Michael Attias - David Taylor - Jay Rosen: Opium

Read "Opium" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

New York City based electric guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil treads upon paths similarly founded by the likes of Joe Morris and the grand master of improvised free-jazz type guitar, Derek Bailey. Eisenbeil primarily centers his craft within trio and here, quartet settings. With this effort, everyone shares the limelight. Soloing opportunities abound as the guitarist and saxophonist Michael Attias interlace a surplus of jagged motifs. The album commences with the musicians’ nimble tinkering and introspective thematic concoctions. Yet, they build up ...

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Bruce Eisenbeil - Michael Attias - David Taylor - Jay Rosen: Opium

Read "Opium" reviewed by Nicholas Sheets

Opium, the latest CIMP (Creative Improvisational Music Project) release to be led by the New York-based guitarist, Bruce Eisenbeil, is a mesmerizing album. It is as subtle, dynamic and unpredictable as a chemistry experiment. The Opium quartet is anchored by an unusually dark-timbred horn combination consisting of David Taylor on bass trombone and Michael Attias on bass saxophone. The two work in tandem throughout the album, honking, grumbling furiously, or unleashing deep throaty yawns that simmer as they patiently drive ...

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Eisenbeil / Attias / Taylor / Rosen: Opium

Read "Opium" reviewed by Derek Taylor

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 ...

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Bruce Eisenbeil's Crosscurrent Trio: Mural

Read "Mural" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

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, ...


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