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


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 At Brooklyn’s Ibeam In March

February 3, 2009

 Drummer/composer Harris Eisenstadt will be in residence at Brooklyn’s Ibeam Music Studio every Saturday night in March. 

This series of four concerts will feature the first-ever performances of his new nonet, Harris Eisenstadt’s Woodblock Prints, featuring Mike McGinnis (clarinet), Jason Mears (alto saxophone), Sara Schoenbeck (bassoon), Mark Taylor (French horn), Brian Drye (trombone), Jose Davila (tuba), Jonathan Goldberger (electric guitar) and Garth Stevenson (bass). 

The group’s music is inspired by depictions of nature found in Japanese woodblock prints, an ancient form of relief printing created from intricately carved wood.

“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 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, Guewel (Clean Feed, 2008), was named one of the year’s best in publications such as AllAboutJazz.com, Time Out New York and the Village Voice.


Improvised Communications To Represent Harris Eisenstadt

January 29, 2009

Harris Eisenstadt by Peter Gannushkin

Harris Eisenstadt by Peter Gannushkin

Improvised Communications is pleased to announce it has been retained by drummer/composer Harris Eisenstadt as his media contact and to promote various upcoming projects in 2009, including the March debut of his newest ensemble, Woodblock Prints, at Brooklyn’s Ibeam Music Studio.

Eisenstadt, a Toronto native currently based in Brooklyn, is known as “one of the most creative and skilled musician/composers incorporating traditional material to create new and vital improvised music” (Robert Iannapollo, AllAboutJazz-New York).

He has performed around the world, earned numerous accolades and commissions for work in a wide variety of musical genres, and appeared on more than 35 recordings. His latest release as a leader, Guewel (Clean Feed, 2008), was named one of the year’s best in publications such as AllAboutJazz.com, Time Out New York and the Village Voice.