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