The Round-up: The words are never lost


Here is some very good new music.


Harris Eisenstadt – Recent Developments (Songlines Recordings)

That a flock of butterflies is referred to as a kaleidoscope is particularly relevant to the latest from Harris Eisenstadt.  His nonet generates a dazzling array of intricate patterns, spanning perspectives harmonically, rhythmically and of influence.  Sometimes chamber music, sometimes avant-garde and folk and post-bop, the shape of the music is perpetually in motion and forever undergoing change.  But like that kaleidoscope of butterflies, the music is remarkably light, and the fluttering wings of melody are a joy to see (hear) take flight.  The results shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering the drummer is joined by an all-star cast of flautist Anna Webber, bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck, trumpeter Nate Wooley, trombonist Jeb Bishop, tubist Dan Peck, guitarist Brandon Seabrook, cellist Hank Roberts and bassist Eivind Opsvik.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  Amazon


De Beren Gieren – Dug Out Skyscrapers (Sdban Ultra Records)

Though the tempos are often staggered, the layers of repetition on Dug Out Skyscrapers create a momentum that’s a little bit hypnotic on this new release from the trio De Beren Gieren.  And if that odd sensation weren’t enough, pianist Fulco Ottervanger, bassist Lieven Van Pée and drummer Simon Segers paint melodies blurry at the edges, which adds to the time distortion inherent in their rhythmic approach.  And so, when the trio actually offers up something conventionally melodic, the transition is almost stunning.  Another nifty release from a band that has been on this site’s radar for some time.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  Amazon


Daniel Sommer – Duets (Self-Produced)

There’s a little something of everything on this series of improvised duets from Daniel Sommer.  The drummer invited a cadre of favorite artists to join him in conversation, and those discussions range from a peaceful reverie with pianist Artturi Rönkä to the opposite end of the spectrum with a scrambled ramble with guitarist Marc Ducret.  Arguably, the strongest moments are those that span that expanse, like on the duet with pianist Kari Ikonen, which elicits a little bit of serenity and a little of spitfire.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  Bandcamp


Dan Phillips Quartet – Converging Tributaries (Self-Produced)

Much in that way a storm cloud has no definite borders or concrete shape, yet possesses a presence that implies depth (and more), the quartet of guitarist Dan Phillips, trombonist Jeb Bishop, double bassist Krzysztof Pabian and drummer Timothy Daisy rain down with plenty of free jazz improvisation, but by coalescing into the occasional groove, they provide a sense of focus and direction to music that doesn’t always move that way.  The effect is to sometimes discover your foot tapping along to music that will never be described as foot-tapping.  That’s a pretty cool thing to do.  Also, be sure to check out Phillip’s other 2017 release, Fading Light.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  Bandcamp – Amazon


Eyebrow – Strata (Self-Produced)

Moody, cinematic, contemplative… all good words to describe the latest from the duo Eyebrow.  The trumpet of Pete Judge hits the tonal range between mournful and tranquil, while percussionist Paul Wigens modulates between a calm chatter and an insistent command.  They mix in some strings and electronics for textural ambiance, in tasteful doses and with impressive effects.  Seems well suited for quiet, rainy days, but the music possesses a certain electric flow that likely could adapt to whatever the soundtrack your day, or night, requires.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  Bandcamp