AMN Reviews: Harris Eisenstadt – Recent Developments (2017; Songlines)

I have a theory that adding bassoon to any piece of music can make that piece better. While there are generous portions of bassoon on Harris Eisenstadt’s latest release, I suspect that it would be a stellar album regardless.

Eisenstadt is a drummer and bandleader who has released one or two albums a year for the last decade or so, notably with his Canada Day and Golden State groups. Here, he leads a nonet featuring a who’s who of creative music: Anna Webber on flute, Sara Schoenbeck on said bassoon, Nate Wooley on trumpet, Jeb Bishop on trombone, Dan Peck on tuba, Brandon Seabrook on banjo, Hank Roberts on cello, and Eivind Opsvik on bass. Thus, the overall sound is one of a jazz orchestra playing angular music. Think Anthony Braxton, but not just because several of his collaborators are featured.

Structurally, the 41-minute Recent Developments consists of six longer “parts” with eight interludes. The “parts” are highly-composed with contrapuntal lines. The interludes are more transitional in nature, recorded by ad hoc subsets of the nonet to improvise over aspects of the compositions. The result is a distinctly varied swathe of music with loosely-coupled themes. This is modern avant-garde in so many ways, notably in how influences from jazz, classical, and big band are blended with ease.

Particularly appealing is not only the bassoon (which offers some awesome bouncing low-register lines and drones), but Seabrook’s punk-inflected banjo playing. Not only does the instrument add a unique color to the mix, Seabrook has a penchant for assertiveness, speed picking, and adding notes at unexpected moments.

A standout track is Part 4, which features Schoenbeck, Webber, and Eisenstadt starting off in trio form, but eventually joined by the rest of the ensemble to set forth a complex, angular set of overlapping melodies which end with a blowout between Webber and Roberts. Not to be outdone by this composition, Part 4 is followed by Interlude Group 2, an aggressive free improvisation from all contributors featuring jagged left turns.

This is quite the release – an album of the year candidate.

http://songlines.com/release/recent-developments/

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AMN Picks of the Week: Nicole Mitchell / Vinkeloe, Bormet, and Raymond / Daniel Corral / Swift, Reid, and Bolognesi / Dalava / CARES

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Nicole Mitchell – Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds (2017)
Biggi Vinkeloe / Amy K. Bormet / Tina Raymond – The Harold Trio (2017)
Daniel Corral – Refractions (2017)
Mazz Swift / Tomeka Reid / Silvia Bolognesi – Not Living in Fear (2017)
Dalava – The Book of Transfigurations (2017)
CARES – Coping Strategies (2017)

Coming to the Vortex Jazz Club

Louis Moholo

Source: London’s Vortex Jazz Club.

FRI 28 APRIL 2017
KEITH TIPPETT AND LOUIS MOHOLO-MOHOLO: TWO COMRADES
Keith Tippett – piano Louis Moholo-Moholo – drums AT LAST! For the first time in over 30 years these two giants perform as a duo on a British stage! Playing…
Time: 8 – 11PM

MON 01 MAY 2017
AMOK AMOR
Peter Evans, Wanja Slavin, Petter Eldh, Christian Lillinger. One of the most exciting bands anywhere today. The structure and form you will find in the music of this group are…
Time: 8 – 11PM

WED 03 MAY 2017
LED BIB (2 NIGHT RESIDENCY) 1ST NIGHT
Led Bib return for two nights to celebrate their newest album on the Rare Noise label. In 2011 the group released Bring Your Own, their second album for US based…
Time: 8 – 11PM

THU 04 MAY 2017
LED BIB (2 NIGHT RESIDENCY) 2ND NIGHT
2ND NIGHT In 2011 the group released Bring Your Own, their second album for US based Cuneiform Records. Quickly hailed as a stand out success it gained 4 and 5…
Time: 8 – 11PM

TUE 09 MAY 2017
LUCIAN BAN & MAT MANERI + DEEP FORD (DELBECQ/FINCKER/DARRIFOURCQ) (JUST ANNOUNCED)
A very special double bill, where we get the great textures of what can be called ”chamber jazz” at its best. To a duo of viola and piano based around…
Time: 8 – 11PM

San Francisco Scene: April 28 – May 5, 2017

English: Rent Romus performing at the San Fran...

From the Bay Improviser Calendar.

Friday, April 28

Fri 4/28 7:30 PM Point Richmond Jazz [201 Martina St., Point Richmond, 94801 CA]
The Jacob Szekely Trio with cellist Jacob Szekely. With the Jacob Szekely Trio, Szekely has created a unique musical tapestry that incorporates the richness of jazz improvisation, the structure of classical music and the edginess of rock into its own alchemy which Szekely calls rock chamber jazz.

Fri 4/28 8:00 PM ODC Dance Theatre [3153 17th Street at Shotwell SF]
TOUCH BASS is a new collaboration of choreographer Risa Jaroslow with bassist and composer Lisa Mezzacappa. The work features three dancers, three bassists and three double basses in an exploration of our physical and emotional vulnerabilities—using the fragility of a big, beautiful string instrument as a metaphor for our own real and imagined limitations. with Lisa Mezzacappa, bass + Eric Perney, bass + Matt Small, bass

Saturday, April 29

Sat 4/29 3:00 PM Re:sound A-168 [1595 Railroad Ave Vallejo, CA 94592]
Re:sound presents artists from far and near, please join us in Magazine A-168.
Jason Kahn (Switzerland)
Jean-luc Guionnet (France)
Adria Otte, Kristina Dutton and Kanoko Nishi-Smith string trio (Oakland)

Sat 4/29 8:00 PM California Jazz Conservatory [2087 Addison Street Berkeley]
Composer/performer collective LA Signal Lab, founded by Dan Marschak, Hitomi Oba, Nick DePinna, and Noah Meites, comes together with Los Angeles’s most dynamic and exciting new-music groups, HOCKET and Aperture Duo to perform new works crossing improvised and through-composed music in a concert centered on “Water and Power”.

Sat 4/29 8:00 PM ODC Dance Theatre [3153 17th Street at Shotwell SF]
TOUCH BASS is a new collaboration of choreographer Risa Jaroslow with bassist and composer Lisa Mezzacappa. The work features three dancers, three bassists and three double basses in an exploration of our physical and emotional vulnerabilities—using the fragility of a big, beautiful string instrument as a metaphor for our own real and imagined limitations. With Lisa Mezzacappa, bass + Matt Small, bass + Eric Perney, bass

Sat 4/29 8:30 PM The Lab [2948 16th St SF]
susan alcorn solo pedal steel guitar
Phillip Greenlief – solo saxophone

Sunday, April 30

Sun 4/30 3:00 PM ODC Dance Theatre [3153 17th Street at Shotwell SF]
TOUCH BASS is a new collaboration of choreographer Risa Jaroslow with bassist and composer Lisa Mezzacappa. The work features three dancers, three bassists and three double basses in an exploration of our physical and emotional vulnerabilities—using the fragility of a big, beautiful string instrument as a metaphor for our own real and imagined limitations. With Lisa Mezzacappa, bass + Matt Small, bass + Eric Perney, bass

Sun 4/30 7:30 PM UC Berkeley’s Hearst Mining Building [Campus of UC Berkeley]
Friction Quartet presents Spaced Out

Monday, May 1

Mon 5/01 8:30 PM Make-Out Room [3225 22nd St SF]
The Monday Make-Out
The cutting edge of Bay Area jazz and improvised music:
Set #1: Lucio Menegon (modern cinematic guitar music
(Lucio Menegon-gtr, Janie Cowan-upright b, John Hanes-dms)
Set #2: Anton Hatwich Quartet (Chicago/Bay Area jazz)
(Ben Goldberg-cl, Josh Smith-sax, Anton Hatwich-b, Hamir Atwal-dms)
Set #3: Amanda Chaudhary’s CDP (contemporary/electronic)
(Amanda Chaudhary-keys, elec, Tom Djll-synth, Joshua Marshall-sax, Mark Pino-dms)

Mon 5/01 9:30 PM Studio Grand [3234 Grand Ave, Oakland]
Oakland Freedom Jazz : Ryan Pate Group / Steven Lugerner Group

Tuesday, May 2

Tue 5/02 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Inbal Segev: Cello & Electronics by Women Composers Featuring Music by Anna Clyne, Missy Mazzoli, Gity Razaz, & Augusta Read Thomas

Wednesday, May 3

Wed 5/03 7:30 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Pianist Thomas Moore presents Morton Feldman’s “Triadic Memories”

Thursday, May 4

Thu 5/04 7:30 PM CCRMA [660 Lomita Dr. Stanford]
Burnt Dot is an experimental noise and improvisation ensemble founded by Sarah Belle Reid (trumpet) and Ryan Gaston (modular synthesizer). Join us for the release of our cassette Constant Ballet and the premiere of a new audiovisual work Rare Earth for Desert Plant, with digital artist Sahir Khan.

Thu 5/04 8:00 PM Luggage Store Creative Music Series [1007 Market Street SF]
8:00 pm Lords of Outland
Philip Everett – drums, Ray Scheaffer – bass,
Collette McCaslin – soprano saxophone/percussion,
Rent Romus – saxophones/percussion
9:00 pm Christina Stanley – violin/electronics
Performs a piece for Max/MSP

Friday, May 5

Fri 5/05 6:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
MicroFest North: Opening Reception, Iconoclast Centennials
Panel discussion and demonstrations with Larry Polansky, William Winant, Daniel Schmidt and Jonathan Glasier. Join for a celebration of alternate tuning with works by Harrison, Colvig, and Darreg, all of whom would have turned 100 this spring.

Fri 5/05 6:00 PM Presidio Officer’s Club [50 Moraga Ave SF]
Kasey Knudsen Sextet

Fri 5/05 8:00 PM Old First Concerts [1751 Sacramento St. SF]
Clarinet Thing
Sheldon Brown, Eb, Bb, bass clarinets; Beth Custer, Bb, A, alto, bass clarinets; Ben Goldberg, Bb, contralto clarinets; Harvey Wainapel, Bb, bass clarinets

Fri 5/05 8:00 PM Episcopal Church of St. John [1661 15th St]
Wild Rumpus presents premieres by Brian Baumbusch and Carolina Heredia plus music by Lou Harrison and J.L.Adams; featuring handmade puppetry, just intonation guitar, and homemade percussion!

Fri 5/05 9:00 PM Gray Area Art And Technology [2665 Mission St. SF]
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Novi_sad at the 2017 Gray Area Festival
On Friday night of the Gray Area Festival, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Novi_sad join us for an evening of auditory painting and sculptural soundscapes.

Classical Music in NYC This Week

ice-691pxSource: The New York Times.

INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY ENSEMBLE at Abrons Arts Center (April 28, 8:30 p.m.; April 29, 8 p.m.). Enjoy ICE all weekend long with a festival of free concerts that ranges over contemporary music with abandon. On Friday, there’s a collaboration with the French ensemble L’Itinéraire, featuring music by Pauline Oliveros, Francesca Verunelli and others; on Saturday, a preview of new creations by Wojtek Blecharz.
212-352-3101, abronsartscenter.org

‘MADRIGAL OPERA’ at National Sawdust (April 28-29, 7 p.m.). The Philip Glass celebrations continue unabated, now with a rarity: a 1980 chamber opera left deliberately abstract, for later directors to complete. R. B. Schlather, one of our more ambitious and effective younger directors, takes up the task. The violinist Johnny Gandelsman, the violist William Frampton and the voices of Choral Chameleon are the performers.
646-779-8455, nationalsawdust.org

WALL-TO-WALL STEVE REICH at Symphony Space (April 30; 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m.). Eight hours — yes, eight hours — of Steve Reich at another round of birthday celebrations for the composer, and with quite the lineup. There are three concerts, with barely a pause for breath: Among other performances, catch Vicky Chow in “Piano Counterpoint” and the Mivos Quartet in “WTC 9/11” at 3 p.m.; the marvelous ensemble Alarm Will Sound in “Four Genesis Settings” and “Radio Rewrite” at 5:30; and “The Desert Music” from the American Composers Orchestra at 8. Crucial music, by crucial performers — and all for free.
212-864-5400, symphonyspace.org