2009 DownBeat Critics Poll

July 11, 2009

DownBeat‘s August 2009 issue is now reaching subscribers, and with it the results of the 57th Annual Critics Poll.

We’d like to congratulate everyone recognized in the various categories by the 120 voting writers, but especially our current clients and the musicians whose releases we represented in the past year.

Jason Adasiewicz:
Vibes and Vibes, Rising Star

Darcy James Argue:
Big Band, Rising Star and Composer, Rising Star

Taylor Ho Bynum:
Trumpet, Rising Star

Gerald Cleaver:
Drums, Rising Star

Harris Eisenstadt:
Composer, Rising Star

Mary Halvorson:
Jazz Artist, Rising Star; Jazz Group, Rising Star; and Guitar, Rising Star

John Hébert
Acoustic Bass, Rising Star

Nicole Mitchell:
Flute and Flute, Rising Star (winner)

William Parker:
Acoustic Bass

Harris Eisenstadt’s Latest Release, Canada Day, Coming October 6th

July 7, 2009
Photo by Scott Friedlander

Photo by Scott Friedlander

On October 6th, Clean Feed Records will release Canada Day (CF157CD), the eponymous debut of Harris Eisenstadt‘s most active working ensemble. The Brooklyn-based drummer/composer’s eighth recording as a bandleader, Canada Day documents Eisenstadt’s book of originals for the band, developed at gigs around New York and beyond for the past two years. The group, his primary focus as a bandleader since returning to New York in 2005, features Nate Wooley (trumpet), Matt Bauder (tenor saxophone), Chris Dingman (vibraphone) and Eivind Opsvik (bass).

“Canada Day was built around the specific personalities of these four musicians,” Eisenstadt explains. “Nate and Matt are known for their experimental sides, yet both are lyrical players with totally personal sounds in more jazz/song form-oriented contexts. Chris, who I’ve worked with since my 2007 record, The All Seeing Eye + Octets (Poobah), brings harmonic sophistication and a skeletal, shimmering texture that only vibraphone can provide. Eivind is one of the premier young bassists working in New York and I felt instantly at home with his lyrical and rock solid approach. He thinks in song forms even when abstracting material, making him the perfect bass player for these compositions.”

“Eisenstadt is strong proof that jazz is still young and growing,” declared L.A. Weekly‘s Greg Burk. Critics have called him “a rising presence as a composer of note” (Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com), “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, a Toronto native, 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. 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 previous release, Guewel (Clean Feed), was named one of 2008’s best in publications such as AllAboutJazz.com, Time Out New York and the Village Voice, and helped earn him a nomination as Up and Coming Artist of the Year in the 2009 Jazz Journalists Association Awards. In addition to Canada Day, Eisenstadt also leads Woodblock Prints, a nonet inspired by the ancient Japanese art form. He is also an active member of The Convergence Quartet, Sean Moran’s Big Elephant, The Pavones, Adam Rudolph’s Organic Orchestra and the Nate Wooley Quintet. Learn more at http://www.harriseisenstadt.com

Harris Eisenstadt In July

July 3, 2009
Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Drummer/composer Harris Eisenstadt is still basking in the glow of his new role as father to young Owen Eric, born a few weeks ago, but he’s not off the musical market completely.

He has three gigs in New York this month, including the patriotic debut of his new trio with saxophonist Ellery Eskelin and cellist Chris Hoffman, a sideman date with guitarist Sean Moran‘s Small Elephant and the return of his own nonet, Woodblock Prints.

Saturday, July 4th at 10:00 p.m.
The Harris Eisenstadt Trio
Cornelia Street Cafe

Sunday, July 12th at 7:30 p.m.
Sean Moran’s Small Elephant

Friday, July 31st at 10:00 p.m.
Kaoru Watanabe’s NakaNaka series presents:
Harris Eisenstadt’s Woodblock Prints

Stay tuned for our announcement (next week) about Harris’ forthcoming record, Canada Day, on Clean Feed!

The Convergence Quartet Live At The Rainbow

June 23, 2009
Taylor Ho Bynum performing with The Convergence Quartet

Taylor Ho Bynum performing with The Convergence Quartet

The Convergence Quartet‘s April 29th performance at The Rainbow, as part of Birmingham Jazz‘s monthly Jazz Club series, can now be heard via the organization’s online jukebox.

The concert was part of the intercontinental band’s extensive tour of the U.K. in late April and early May.

The group features cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, pianist Alexander Hawkins, bassist Dominic Lash and drummer Harris Eisenstadt.

Welcome To The World, Owen Eric Eisenstadt!

June 18, 2009
Sara and Owen

Sara and Owen

We’re pleased to pass along news of the recent birth of Owen Eric Eisenstadt, the first child of improvised music’s favorite drum n’ bassoon duo, Harris Eisenstadt and Sara Schoenbeck.

The soon-to-be musical prodigy was born on June 13th in Brooklyn weighing seven pounds three ounces and measuring 21 inches.

Happiness and healthiness is professed by all.

Harris Eisenstadt Performances In June

June 11, 2009
Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Drummer/composer Harris Eisenstadt is laying a bit low this month waiting for his first child to be born, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still a few gigs worth mentioning around New York, including a performance with Jessica Pavone‘s new name-challenged quartet and duets with Brahim Fribgane (in Howard Mandel’s ethnomusicology class at NYU) and Ellery Eskelin (as part of Jeremiah Cymerman’s Telluric Currents series).

Band Without a Name is the Name for Now
06/13: Jessica Pavone Presents @ Ibeam (Brooklyn, NY) 

Harris Eisenstadt/Brahim Fribgane Duo
06/15: New York University (New York, NY)

Harris Eisenstadt/Ellery Eskelin Duo
06/19: Telluric Currents Series @ Ibeam (Brooklyn, NY)

AMG Review: Harris Eisenstadt’s Guewel

May 8, 2009

Michael G. Nastos’ review of drummer/composer Harris Eisenstadt‘s most recent recording, Guewel (Clean Feed Records), is now posted at AllMusic.com.

“Eisenstadt’s vision for this music, the arrangements he has certainly painstaking produced, and how this incredible band executes them to the max, results in some fabulous, truly original music that deserves many repeat listenings,” writes Nastos. 

“Guewel (the Wolof term for griot story tellers or hereditary musicians) is an essential modern recording that deserves all the accolades one can bestow, and is highly recommended to all progressive jazz and world music listeners without reservation.”

Harris Eisenstadt Performances In May

May 6, 2009
Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Fresh off his 10-stop tour of the UK with The Convergence Quartet, and a Jazz Journalists Association Awards nomination for Up and Coming Artist of the Year, drummer/composer Harris Eisenstadt embarks on a busy May schedule of sideman performances.

Carlos Barretto/Harris Eisenstadt/Avram Fefer
May 6-9th: Tour of Portugal

Adam Rudolph’s Go: Organic Orchestra
May 11, 18 and 25th at Roulette

Ned Rothenberg Trio
May 21st at Le Grand Dakar 

The Pavones
May 21st at Zebulon

Nate Wooley Quintet
May 26th at The Stone

The Convergence Quartet Live On BBC3’s Jazz on 3

May 5, 2009
The Convergence Quartet

The Convergence Quartet

Last night’s edition of BBC 3’s Jazz on 3, hosted by Jez Nelson, featured a series of live recordings from the 2009 Cheltenham Jazz Festival, including a set by The Convergence Quartet at the Xposed Club from May 1st.

Streaming audio of the program will be available via the show’s Web site through Monday, May 11th. 

The Convergence Quartet’s performance in Cheltenham was part of the band’s 10-stop tour of the UK, which concluded on Sunday.

Check out these reviews of the April 27th performance at Vortex in London in The Jazz Mann and The Guardian.

Argue, Bynum, Eisenstadt And Halvorson Nominated For JJA Awards

May 5, 2009

We’re pleased to announce that four of our current clients are nominees for this year’s 2009 Jazz Journalists Association Awards.

Darcy James Argue:
Up & Coming Artist of the Year
Large Ensemble of the Year
Blog of the Year

Taylor Ho Bynum:
Trumpeter of the Year

Harris Eisenstadt:
Up & Coming Artist of the Year 

Mary Halvorson:
Up & Coming Artist of the Year 
Guitarist of the Year

Congratulations to all the nominees! 

The award ceremony will be June 16th at The Jazz Standard in New York.


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