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Drummer Eisenstadt in an octet performing the entire album of Wayne Shorter's "The All Seeing Eye", and adds a series of octets he wrote for the same octet.

Eisenstadt, Harris
The All Seeing Eye + Octets

Eisenstadt, Harris: The All Seeing Eye + Octets (Poobah Records)
Label: Poobah Records    
Released in: Poobah Records    

"As it turns out, The All Seeing Eye + Octets is the last recording I made while living on the West Coast. It was a very fruitful period from 1999-2005/06. I lived in New York on and off in 2005, and moved for good fall 2006. I feel very fortunate to have had many wonderful musical opportunities while in Los Angeles. I'm proud that this recording features a broad cross-section of creative musicians there.

At first it was my intention to record the 5 songs from Wayne Shorter's The All Seeing Eye and leave it at that. Seemed an ambitious enough undertaking. I've been inspired by that music for years, and wanted to pay tribute by re-imagining it with new forms and different instrumentation.

In the process of preparing for rehearsals, performance, and recording, I realized that I had at my disposal an ensemble of vast instrumental range and skill. I decided to arrange two large ensemble pieces of mine, "Without Roots" and "What We Were Told", for octet, and added a second trumpet and conductor. We went into Paramount Studio C, a wonderful old Hollywood live room full of wood and stone, and recorded The All Seeing Eye + Octets in one long, fulfilling day.

I chose to steer clear of the saxophones and trombone from the original 1965 recording and instead decided on a woodwind trio (clarinet, bass clarinet, and bassoon). I wanted to blend the inner voices in the ensemble as much as possible, and to balance that much wood with just the right amount of metal: trumpet(s) and vibraphone. The balance made for an ideal mixture; sheer and lush at the same time. String bass and drumset provide the underpinning.

The only clear strategy was to approach the music in less of a hard-swinging, quiet interludes, solo-after-solo sort of way and more as open-ended chamber music with grooves, which ends up mirroring the overall structure of my two octets.

"Without Roots" and "What We Were Told" were both written for large ensembles originally (21 and 15 musicians respectively). Arranging them for octet offered the chance to streamline the compositions, so by the time of the recording session the pieces were in fighting trim.

The All Seeing Eye is about form, freedom, and balance. All these concepts should inform one's life-view as much as one's compositional palette."-

Harris Eisenstadt, from the liner notes

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music

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Product Information:

Label: Poobah Records
Catalog ID: PBS 007CD
Squidco Product Code: 9801

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2007
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded at Paramount Studio C, Los Angeles, CA 7.07.06 by Krish Sharma


Harris Eisenstadt-drumset

Chris Dingman-vibraphone

Andrew Pask-clarinet, bass clarinet

Daniel Rosenboom-trumpet

Sara Schoenbeck-bassoon

Brian Walsh-clarinet, bass clarinet

Scott Walton-contrabass

Aaron Smith-trumpet

Marc Lowenstein-conductor

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Track Listing:

1. The All-Seeing Eye

2. Genesis

3. Chaos

4. Face of the Deep

5. Mephistopheles


6. Without Roots I

7. Without Roots II

8. Without Roots III

9. What We Were Told I

10. What We Were Told II

11. What We Were Told III