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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 Angelica Sanchez. Even without a bsssist, the band manages to project a spacious environment, at times tinged with bluesy and moody afterhours-like treatments.
The trio executes a pulsating and melodic primary theme on "Additives," prefaced on unity and free-form modalities. Eskelin's corpulent tone abets his fiery improvisational segments, whether he may be mimicking Ben Webster-style balladry or lashing out with a cavalcade of stormy crescendos. Yet variety is a common denominator throughout, as the trio's inventions span asymmetrical cadences, and lyrically resplendent three-way dialogues.
"Back and Forth" features Eskelin's sultry narrative, attractively underscored by Sanchez' contrapuntal accompaniment, complementing a program synchronously designed with power, eloquence, and fluid mobility. The musicians tackle Schoenberg on two pieces comprised of punctual sax notes, counterpoint, and stringent movements. But they open the forum a tad, by interspersing some improvisation-based joviality into the mix as Eisenstadt generates the underlying momentum via his peppering and prodding. Indeed, September Trio pulls a lot of tricks out of the bag, but it's a cohesive and largely rewarding set as the musicians infuse a sense of anticipation into the grand schema.
Track Listing: Swimming, then Rained Out; Additives; From Schoenberg, Part One; Back
and Forth; Ordinary Weirdness; The Destructive Element; Cascadia; From
Schoenberg, Part Two; Here Are the Samurai.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.