Nov 9 2013
Tiny Reviews edition!
Featured album: Harris Eisenstadt September Trio – The Destructive Element.
Plus: ACV Busk, MV4tet Igapo: Un Univers des Mondes Hybrides, Hubert Brundlmayer Hornhub, & Radio String Quartet Vienna Posting Joe: Celebrating Weather Report.
Harris Eisenstadt September Trio – The Destructive Element
A skeletal system formed of the blues, but like many Harris Eisenstadt recordings, bones tend to warp and bend and dematerialize in ways not exactly human. But though this does possess many of the avant-garde characteristics of a typical Eisenstadt recording, it permeates a down home ambiance that’s tough not to fall for. Many tracks take the form of ballads, and held in combination with the blues, those were raw materials that Eisenstadt’s trio seemed to relish taking their time shaping, and that’s what gives the album much of its down-home demeanor.
Of particular substance is the way the trio format allows saxophonist Eskelin to break out his love song persona… a sound he’s able to achieve, remarkably, on some of the more challenging propositions put down in a recorded format. No matter how angular or crooked or skewed a piece gets, he’s able to bring a little bit of the ballad to the table. Take the way the lovely sway of “Back and Forth” follows the serpentine “From Schoenberg, Pt. 1,” a track with a fluid motion and a curious curvature.
Pianist Sanchez is clearly right at home in this shifting milieu. The tune “Ordinary Weirdness” has her instilling a formal elegance to a song that swims in abrupt starts and stops and changes of speed. And on a track like album-closer “Here Are the Samurai,” she ramps up the sense of drama on a song built for the big finale.
An album that makes challenging music sound simple.
Your album personnel: Harris Eisenstadt (drums), Ellery Eskelin (tenor sax), and Angelica Sanchez (piano).
Released on Clean Feed Records.
Download and/or stream a free album track at the artist’s site.
Other Albums of Interest:
ACV – Busk
Interesting quintet date, with a heavy dose of prog-rock shiny notes and electronic geometry, but then the post-bopping heart of the music reveals itself with interludes of jazz sweetness. More hard edges to this music than soft, more rocking out than swaying to ballads. But it’s those reveals, the transitions from one sound to the next, where this album shines. Not an easy thing to accomplish successfully with any type of consistency, but ACV kind of nails it here.
Your album personnel: Andy Champion (double bass), Graeme Wilson (tenor & baritone sax), Mark Williams (guitar), Paul Edis (keyboards), and Adrian Tilbrook (drums).
Released on Babel Label.
MV4tet – Igapo: Un Univers des Mondes Hybrides
The Swiss quartet MV4tet is comprised of violin, clarinets, bass, and piano. The music is sometimes charming, sometimes haunting, and always engaging. Probably best file it under Chamber Jazz… the instrumentation, sound, and compositional quirks all lead to that happy end. Just a great little find in the new arrivals bin.
Hubert Brundlmayer – Hornhub
Intriguing release from drummer Brundlmayer. Often seems like a straight-ahead affair, but as if a fine mist occasionally passes over the band, their music suddenly becomes more opaque and difficult to make out… leading to some fascinating interludes in between the more conventional stuff.
Your album personnel: Hubert Bründlmayer (drums), Bastian Stein (trumpet), Alex Löwenstein (alto sax), Seb Zillner (tenor sax), Georg Schrattenholzer (trombone), and Georg Buxhofer (electric bass).
Radio String Quartet Vienna – Posting Joe: Celebrating Weather Report
Have you never much cared for the music of fusion outfit Weather Report, and inexplicably always felt sort of bad that you were never able to get into it? Well, here you go. A beautiful album by Radio String Quartet Vienna that offers warm luxuriant harmonies, some urgent tempos, and won’t ever inflict fusion-heavy music upon you. A way to enjoy Weather Report from afar. Joking aside, this is a terribly beautiful album with a smart attitude.
Portions of these reviews were originally used in my Jazz Picks weekly article for eMusic, so here’s some language protecting their rights to that reprinted material, as the one to hire me to write about new jazz arrivals to their site…
“New Arrivals Jazz Picks,“ “New Arrivals Jazz Picks,“ and “New Arrivals Jazz Picks“ reprints courtesy of eMusic.com, Inc.
© 2013 eMusic.com, Inc.
As always, my sincere thanks to eMusic for the gig. Cheers.