Golden State Harris Eisenstadt feat. Nicole Mitchell
- 1What is a Straw Horse, Anyways?05:37
- 2It is Never Safe to Be05:08
- 3Dogmatic in Any Case08:49
- 4Unless All the Evidence is In04:38
- 6Especially Preposterous Assertions06:22
- 7Flabbergasted by the Unconventional07:50
Info for Golden State
Acclaimed drummer Eisenstadt’s new quartet continues his exploration of unusual instrumentation, taking chamber jazz further in directions suggested by Dolphy, Lateef and the AACM. The music thrives on thenovel combination of off-kilter grooves, freeish tonality and knotty yet fluid composed/improvised counterpoint. The individual members are impressive improvisers, but what really counts is how these fresh 2/3/4-way conversations develop an original expressive world with its own group dynamics and affective give-and-take. Audiophile recording brings out all the piquant timbral shadings. Liner notes by Brian Morton.
"Toronto-born drummer, composer Harris Eisenstadt is headquartered in the fertile artistic environs of New York City, and each new release divulges his thirst for ingenuity. He's emerged as an important voice within progressive jazz circles while gathering the crème de la crème of artists to help support his visions. Thus, Golden State is a polyrhythmic presentation that unites jazz and an ultra-modern chamber perspective, featuring poll-winning flautist Nicole Mitchell and bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck. Recorded in California, the album title refers to Eisenstadt's residency at CalArts in 2012 and other factors that led to this engagement.
Eisenstadt's compositions are enacted with odd-metered pulses and regimented interactions. However, he affords the soloists plenty of room to improvise, sparking a loose, open-air vista that parallels the modern jazz aura. At times these pieces take on a maze-like impetus, engineered with false endings and subtle shifts in the dynamic. It's a fluid endeavor, but tightly structured as contrabass luminary Mark Dresser tightly coordinates the rhythmic component with Eisenstadt but also harmonizes with the soloists, establishing polytonal contrasts. Interestingly enough, the flute and bassoon combo often spark a hybrid emotive sensibility residing somewhere between joy and lament. Yet "Dogmatic In Any Case" is designed with a peppery pulse and concise unison choruses. However, Eisenstadt frequently tweaks the rhythms throughout the program, laced with the soloists' alternating currents and sizzling breakouts.
The quartet operates within an opaque space between classical, jazz and free-jazz type improvisation, but the drummer's firm odd-metered beats reinforce the structural aspects. They shift gears a bit on Dresser's arco driven ballad "Sandy," and the next track "Especially Preposterous Assertions" is launched by his walking lines, segueing into a medium-tempo swing motif. Moreover, the rhythm section speeds up the pace providing ammo for Mitchell's fluent and shrewd improvisational jaunts, integrated with a harmonious theme and Schoenbeck's Eric Dolphy-like attack.
Golden State is an album that discloses newfound surprises on additional listens. Nevertheless, Eisenstadt's prolific compositional prowess continues to yield significant rewards. His flourishing discography expands into a broader realm with the advent of this first-class musical statement." (Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz)
Nicole Mitchell, flute
Sara Schoenbeck, bassoon
Mark Dresser, contrabass
Harris Eisenstadt, drums, compositions
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, allaboutjazz.com), "strong proof that jazz is still young and growing," (Greg Burk, l.a. weekly), "vital and increasingly influential" (Glenn Astarita, jazzreview.com) 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).