Sunday, April 30, 2017

Harris Eisenstadt - Recent Developments

Harris Eisenstadt
Recent Developments

Anna Webber - flute
Sara Schoenbeck - bassoon
Nate Wooley - trumpet
Jeb Bishop - trombone
Dan Peck - tuba
Brandon Seabrook - banjo
Hank Roberts - cello
Eivind Opsvik - bass
Harris Eisenstadt - drums, compositions

Harris Eisenstadt is one of my favorite contemporary Jazz composers. His series of Canada Day quintet albums on Songlines represent a sustained high level of composing and playing, mixing the adventurous with a sense of melody that in a just world could attract a broader audience. 

Eisenstadt has featured larger groups as well, most recently on Canada Day Octet from 2012. Recent Developments has more of a chamber music sound, in spite of the fact the album includes a rhythm section of drums and acoustic bass. The album is a little deceptive; it has a light, even slight, feel to it at first. Listen further and more intricacies reveal themselves. The musicians on the record are a who’s who of today’s forward thinking jazz-related players. The ensemble sound takes precedence on Recent Developments, with the banjo of Brandon Seabrook providing an interesting and unusual textural twist.