Canada Day IV Harris Eisenstadt

Cover Canada Day IV

Album info



Label: Songlines

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Modern Jazz

Artist: Harris Eisenstadt

Composer: Harris Eisenstadt

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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FLAC 192 $ 12.00
  • 1After Several Snowstorms07:12
  • 2Sometimes It's Hard to Get Dressed in the Morning04:29
  • 3Let's Say It Comes in Waves07:38
  • 4Life's Hurtling Passage Onward09:09
  • 5What Can Be Set to the Side04:08
  • 6What's Equal to What10:27
  • 7Meli Melo07:50
  • Total Runtime50:53

Info for Canada Day IV

Award-winning New York drummer Harris Eisenstadt’s long-running group returns with its 4th and most accomplished record yet, a thoroughly entertaining, provocative program of original compositions that blends swinging modern jazz and spikier, off-center avant-jazz styles. The band’s idiosyncratic sound world features close percussive/textural interplay between gorgeous vibist Chris Dingman and Eisenstadt, who leads from the kit almost like a modern-day Art Blakey. Frontline soloists Nate Wooley (whom Dave Douglas has called “one of the most interesting and unusual trumpeters living today”) and tenor saxist Matt Bauder (who recently toured for a year with Arcade Fire) play the whole jazz/improv tradition with great verve and character, and have their own following as leaders. Pascal Niggenkemper (Gerald Cleaver's Black Host) joins Canada Day and blends seamlessly, showing why he's become one of the busiest young bass players in New York. The 24 bit/192K recording has great dynamics and transparency.

„Canada Day has been drummer Harris Eisenstadt's flagship ensemble since its first gig on July 1, 2007—his homeland's national holiday, hence the band name. In the ensuing years the quintet has developed an identifiably cohesive sound that expertly balances avant-garde explorations and in-the-pocket swing, with only one significant personnel change; the bass chair is now filled by Pascal Niggenkemper, the group's third bassist.

Eisenstadt's writing for the unit continues to expand upon post-modern jazz traditions in intriguing ways. For Canada Day IV, Eisenstadt states 'I wanted to go deeper into the possibilities of solo, duo, trio and quartet spaces within the ensemble ... to keep shifting amounts of sonic information, weight and scope.' To realize this plan, the leader is once again joined by the protean frontline of tenor saxophonist Matt Bauder and trumpeter Nate Wooley, with vibraphonist Chris Dingman expanding the role typically afforded by a pianist or other chordal instrumentalist.

The band stretches out considerably on its fourth album, deriving extended variations from malleable forms that were road tested during multiple tours and residencies over the previous year. Underpinned by tuneful melodies, Eisenstadt's memorable themes demonstrate great interpretive resilience, even during episodes of willful deconstruction, such as the heated collective climax of 'What Can Be Set to the Side.'

Supporting and embellishing the horn players' animated discourse with a dreamy cinematic ambience, Dingman's luminescent accents and evocative flourishes are among Canada Day's most distinctive features. Bauder and Wooley interpret the leader's sonorous motifs with mercurial invention; Bauder's robust tenor elicits a multiplicity of approaches, from breathy impressionism to multiphonic tonal distortions—but Wooley commands the most attention. The trumpeter's uncanny ability to seamlessly transition from dulcet lyricism to coruscating abstraction in a single phrase provides the band with its most fascinatingly unpredictable element, especially on 'Life's Hurtling Passage Onward,' which spotlights his singular artistry at its most exposed.

Eisenstadt is a magnanimous but engaging bandleader; he rarely solos, but offers persistent percussive commentary throughout the proceedings, providing rhythmic ballast to Niggenkemper's probing harmonic gambits. With their keen ability to transform notated material into adventurous but accessible variations, these five artists manage to balance convention with experimentation in a manner that remains palatable to mainstream sensibilities. Building on an already strong discography, Canada Day IV is far more exceptional than its unremarkable title suggests.“ (Troy Collins,

Nate Wooley, trumpet
Matt Bauder, tenor saxophone
Chris Dingman, vibraphone
Pascal Niggenkemper, bass
Harris Eisenstadt, drums

Harris Eisenstadt
a drummer and composer originally from toronto, takes a fixer’s approach to music making, looking for ways to fit the pieces together. He works along jazz’s progressive fringe but doesn’t generally set out to make a ruckus. In his own music especially, he often seems intent on extracting consonance from dissonance or forging ungainliness into grace." (Nate Chinen, the New York Times). Critics have called him "one of the new generation's leading composers" (Troy Collins,, "strong proof that jazz is still young and growing," (Greg Burk, l.a. weekly), "vital and increasingly influential" (Glenn Astarita, and "one of the most creative and skilled musician/composers incorporating traditional material to create new and vital improvised music" (Robert Iannapollo, allaboutjazz-new york).  The village voice's Jim Macnie adds, "he's perpetually building new ensembles to suit the variety of music he hears in his head—that's what composers do."

One of only a handful of drummers equally well-known for his work as a composer, Eisenstadt is among the most versatile and prolific musicians of his generation. His eclectic resume includes studies with some of the most respected names in both improvised music and west african drumming, and performances in genres ranging from film and theater to poetry and dance to contemporary classical and opera.  Most active in jazz and improvised music, as both an in-demand sideman and a bandleader, he has performed all over the globe, earned commissions from organizations such as meet the composer and the american composers forum, and appeared on more than 35 recordings over the past decade.  His latest recording, woodblock prints (no business, 2010), has received rave reviews, and recent honors include nomination for up and coming artist of the year by the jazz journalists association (2009), and rising star in the composer cateogry of the downbeat international critics poll (2009).

Booklet for Canada Day IV

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