LondonJazz: Mary Halvorson Trio At Vortex 12/14/09

December 17, 2009

Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Earlier this week, LondonJazz posted a review of the Mary Halvorson Trio’s Monday night performance at Vortex. The show was part of the group’s December tour of Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK.

“Even when she’s leading, she doesn’t overwhelm with fast licks,” notes the reviewer. “More likely she’ll interject an insistent pulsed semitone clash, or a repeated melodic or scalar fragment. But there is always an underlying sense of control and of the structure. She’s calling the shots, but with undemonstrative, unshowy playing, and virtually no looping or effects…a fascinating and worthwhile snapshot of a defiant, confident, edgy, genre-crossing strand of contemporary music.”

Harris Eisenstadt’s Canada Day Out Today

October 6, 2009

Drummer/composer Harris Eisenstadt‘s latest release, Canada Day (Clean Feed), officially hits the streets today.

The record, the Toronto native’s eighth as a bandleader, is the debut of his primary working ensemble, also called Canada Day, featuring Nate Wooley (trumpet), Matt Bauder (tenor saxophone), Chris Dingman (vibraphone) and Eivind Opsvik (bass).

It documents his original book of music for the group, which was written for the specific musical personalities of these musicians and developed in live performances in New York and beyond over the past three years.

“The material on the group’s self-titled album is as exciting as it is diverse,” declares Dusted‘s Marc Medwin, “with any clichés about group telepathy sounding entirely appropriate. Precision and spontaneity make every gesture simultaneously soloistic and supportive as the structures wend their complex but catchy ways forward. He’s the lynchpin of an exciting aggregate.”

“Drawing upon some of the best new talent in the Brooklyn scene,” explains’s Troy Collins, “Eisenstadt’s formidable quintet is as capable of adventurous timbral explorations as they are of in-the-pocket swing. Blending a mid-’60s Blue Note vibe with elastic post-rock grooves and subtle West African influences, Eisenstadt successfully unites his assorted interests into a cohesive ensemble sound. An accessible blend of inside and outside traditions delivered by an empathetic young ensemble, Canada Day is a welcome addition to the burgeoning discography of one of the new generation’s leading composers.”’s Michael G. Nastos adds, “A composer of great depth and diversity, Eisenstadt proves a fine trap drummer for this recording, and a formidable bandleader who deserves more recognition in both areas. The cohesion of the ensemble, glued by the steady, steaming, streaming rhythms of Eisenstadt, keeps the listener focused and compelled to hear more…this is a strong candidate for Top Ten status in the category of best jazz CDs of 2009.”

You can learn more about Eisenstadt, Canada Day, and his many other projects in a new interview by Clifford Allen posted yesterday at

And, the band will be celebrating its new release with Northeast tour dates in New York, Toronto, Buffalo and Rochester starting October 24th. Details are available here.

George Schuller’s Circle Wide On Tour

February 3, 2009

Drummer/composer George Schuller and his longstanding quintet, Circle Wide, will perform at Brooklyn’s Douglass Street Music Collective on Wednesday, February 4th before heading abroad for its European tour.  

The group is on the road supporting its latest release, 2008’s Like Before, Somewhat After (Playscape Recordings), which pays tribute to the music of Keith Jarrett’s American Quartet.

European Tour Dates:

02/06 – Kulturzentrum Gems (Singen, Germany)
02/07 – Spielboden (Dornbirn, Austria)
02/08 – Moods (Zurich, Switzerland)
02/10 – Jazzclub Cavete (Marburg, Germany) 
02/12 – Kuenstlerwerkstatt (Pfaffenhofen, Germany) 
02/13 – Jazzclub (Bayreuth, Germany) 
02/14 – Cave 61 (Heilbronn, Germany)