This is the 2nd release by Eisenstadt's stable working quintet Canada Day with Nate Wooley, Matt Bauder, Chris Dingman and Eivind Opsvik, named by ex-Torontonian drummer Eisenstadt for playing its first gig on Canada Day 2007.
Catalog ID: SGL 1589-2
Squidco Product Code: 14431
Recorded by Marc Urselli, assisted by Matt Modula at East Side Sound, NY, NY on December 4th, 2010.
Harris Eisenstadt-drums, composition
Matt Bauder-tenor saxophone
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1. Cobble Hook 4:42
2. To Seventeen 5:10
3. Song for Owen [for Owen Eisenstadt] 4:56
4. Now Longer 8:14
5. To Eh 5:37
6. To Be 6:45
7. To See / Tootie 8:29
8. Judo with Tokyo Joe [for John Zorn] 4:32
Related Categories of Interest:
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
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sample the album:
"This is the second release by Eisenstadt's stable working quintet Canada Day, which was given its name by this ex-Torontonian for playing its first gig on Canada Day 2007. Harris has been based in NY for a number of years, and before that studied for his MFA in African American Improvisational Music at CalArts, where he also studied Ghanaian drumming and dance, following up with drum studies in Gambia and Senegal. His drumset teachers include Barry Altschul and Gerry Hemingway, and if this is a drummer's record perhaps it's the buoyant, dancing quality of the rhythms that really signals it - how the bass and drums interact with each other and with the vibes and front line from tune to tune, the individual voices pulling against each other to cohere all the more.
If the band is known for the way it blends "a mid-60s Blue Note vibe with elastic post-rock grooves and subtle West African influences" (Troy Collins, AAJ), Harris is quick to point out that it also explores areas of improvisation that are outside of jazz, such as Nate Wooley's dense, active non-pitched textures on trumpet. "There's something that the different strains of [new and free] jazz from the 60s share: a sense of adventure. All those musics are being renewed and updated today in endless different ways - amazing really, considering the culture wars of the 80s and 90s. I think Chinen says it well: I do take a fixer's approach to music making. I'm not a breaker. I'm interested in freedom and structure and different ways they can co-exist. As for ungainliness and grace, I find it exciting when an artist negotiates an ungainly task gracefully. I think that definition fits better for me than the opposite (someone who forges gainliness into disgrace, I guess)....I compose for the band members - their personalities come out in the arrangements - but no matter how detailed my scores are, the strength and vibrancy of the music comes from the band finding its collective voice through rehearsals and performances."
Half of the songs were composed around the time of Harris's son Owen's birth: "My wife had just given birth and I was kind of floating along in a tired and sentimental way. I found myself writing simple songs...sketching straightforward harmonies on the piano or singing melodies in my head and then putting changes to them, in stark contrast to the way I'd formulated 'To Eh,' 'To Be' and 'To See/Tootie,' which were written before Owen was born." The range of the material and its melodic and harmonic interest, the way the band rises to the challenges of the arrangements, and Harris's fleet, substantial drumming make for a very satisfying listen.
Canada Day is just one of Harris's currently active projects as a composer and performer - please refer to his bio at harriseisenstadt.com. Canada Day is touring the east coast in early April with a whole new book of compositions, including an octet version of the band in New York with Ray Anderson, Joe Daley and Jason Mears."-SonglinesSee also Canada Day
• Show Bio for Harris Eisenstadt
"One of only a handful of drummers equally well known for his work as a composer, Brooklyn-based Harris Eisenstadt (b. Toronto, 1975) is among the most individual and prolific musicians of his generation. His resume includes studies with some of the most respected names in jazz and improvised music, West African and Afro-Cuban drumming, and performance credits in jazz, film, theater, poetry, dance, contemporary concert music and opera.
Eisenstadt has performed all over the globe, received grants from organizations such as Meet The Composer, American Composers Forum, Canada Council for the Arts, and appeared on more than 60 recordings since 2000, including twenty as a leader. Recordings of his compositions often appear on the Songlines, Clean Feed, No Business, and 482 Music labels, and are consistently included on critics' best-of lists. Recent honors: Rising Star Percussion Percussion, Arranger, and Composer categories of the Downbeat international critics poll; Best Album, Drummer, Composer categories of the El Intruso international critics poll.
His first work for orchestra, Palimpsest, was premiered by the American Composers Orchestra, as part of the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute at Miller Theater, Columbia University (2011). Eisenstadt's second orchestral work, Four Songs, commissioned by the Brooklyn Conservatory Community Orchestra, was premiered at the Brooklyn Museum (2013). His first string quartet, Whatever Will Happen, That Will Also Be, was premiered as part of Eisenstadt's twelve-set residency at The Stone in NYC (2015). As a writer and radio producer, he has contributed to National Public Radio and AfroPop Worldwide. Eisenstadt is also an active AfroCuban batá drummer in New York and a longtime researcher in African and diaspora vernacular traditions. He has travelled to West Africa twice (Gambia, Senegal) to research Mandinka and Wolof music, and to Cuba twice (Matanzas, Havana) to research Afro-Cuban music."-Harris Eisenstadt Website (http://www.harriseisenstadt.com/bio/)
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• Show Bio for Nate Wooley
"Nate Wooley was born in 1974 in Clatskanie, Oregon, a town of 2,000 people in the timber country of the Pacific Northwestern corner of the U.S. He began playing trumpet professionally with his father, a big band saxophonist, at the age of 13. His time in Oregon, a place of relative quiet and slow time reference, instilled in Nate a musical aesthetic that has informed all of his music making for the past 20 years, but in no situation more than his solo trumpet performances.
Nate moved to New York in 2001, and has since become one of the most in-demand trumpet players in the burgeoning Brooklyn jazz, improv, noise, and new music scenes. He has performed regularly with such icons as John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, Eliane Radigue, Ken Vandermark, Fred Frith, Evan Parker, and Yoshi Wada, as well as being a collaborator with some of the brightest lights of his generation like Chris Corsano, C. Spencer Yeh, Peter Evans, and Mary Halvorson.
Wooley's solo playing has often been cited as being a part of an international revolution in improvised trumpet. Along with Peter Evans and Greg Kelley, Wooley is considered one of the leading lights of the American movement to redefine the physical boundaries of the horn, as well as demolishing the way trumpet is perceived in a historical context still overshadowed by Louis Armstrong. A combination of vocalization, extreme extended technique, noise and drone aesthetics, amplification and feedback, and compositional rigor has led one reviewer to call his solo recordings "exquisitely hostile".
In the past three years, Wooley has been gathering international acclaim for his idiosyncratic trumpet language. Time Out New York has called him "an iconoclastic trumpeter", and Downbeat's Jazz Musician of the Year, Dave Douglas has said, "Nate Wooley is one of the most interesting and unusual trumpet players living today, and that is without hyperbole". His work has been featured at the SWR JazzNow stage at Donaueschingen, the WRO Media Arts Biennial in Poland, Kongsberg, North Sea, Music Unlimited, and Copenhagen Jazz Festivals, and the New York New Darmstadt Festivals. In 2011 he was an artist in residence at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, NY and Cafe Oto in London, England. In 2013 he performed at the Walker Art Center as a featured solo artist.
Nate is the curator of the Database of Recorded American Music (www.dramonline.org) and the editor-in-chief of their online quarterly journal Sound American (www.soundamerican.org) both of which are dedicated to broadening the definition of American music through their online presence and the physical distribution of music through Sound American Records. He also runs Pleasure of the Text which releases music by composers of experimental music at the beginnings of their careers in rough and ready mediums."-Nate Wooley Website (http://natewooley.com/about)
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• Show Bio for Eivind Opsvik
"Born in Oslo, bassist and composer Eivind Opsvik was introduced to music at home. His father loved to play the saxophone and constantly spun records-everything from Ornette Coleman to Billie Holiday and The Beatles. An early memory features Eivind on drums, jamming out "A Hard Day's Night" with his father. Later, a denim-clad rocker cousin lent him a bass guitar and the newfound ability of adding pitch to rhythm was a revelation. Opsvik spent the rest of his teens getting to know this instrument, as well as the double bass, while also experimenting with a 4-track tape recorder and pouring music into his head.
At the age of twenty, Opsvik began studies at the Norwegian Academy of Music, focusing on classical bass. By then, he was already an active participant in Oslo's vibrant jazz scene, regularly playing with musicians like Paal Nilssen-Love, Christian Wallumrød, Bjørnar Andresen, and Håkon Kornstad; while also performing at festivals and clubs around Europe.
In 1998, Opsvik relocated to New York City, where he has thrived as a working musician, collaborating on projects with among others Anthony Braxton, Paul Motian, John Zorn, Nate Wooley, and Bill Frisell and performing in a wide range of venues like Carnegie Hall, Village Vanguard, Le Poisson Rouge and The Stone. At the Manhattan School of Music he studied jazz and met some of his closest musical brothers, including Loren Stillman, Jeff Davis, and Jacob Sacks. Building on the bonds and shared musical understanding that developed while at school, Eivind invited these players to help him fulfill his vision for the solo project, Overseas.
Opsvik has stated that "overseas" is a fitting way of describing his life-whether in New York or Norway, he is always an ocean's distance from home. This deep loyalty towards friends and loved ones has, over time, been reflected in Overseas' various lineups. The first record was realized with the help of long-term friendships that went back to Opsvik's earliest days in New York. As he continued his journey through the city via late night gigs, Opsvik connected with other players-visionaries versed in noise improv, electronic, jazz, and classical-who, on subsequent Overseas records, were brought in to augment the lineup. Since 2005, the band has remained consistent, featuring Tony Malaby, Jacob Sacks, and Kenny Wollesen; in 2010, guitarist Brandon Seabrook also became a regular member. Over the years, they have played countless shows around New York City, as well as extensively toured Europe and the American east coast.
In addition to four Overseas albums and his extensive session work, Opsvik's discography also includes four experimental chamber-pop records made in collaboration with songwriter Aaron Jennings (under the moniker of Opsvik & Jennings) and a multimedia project with photographer Michelle Arcila, which pairs tens songs with ten photographic prints. This project, titled A Thousand Ancestors, came out of Opsvik's solo double bass performances, which sometimes featured projections of Arcila's photographs. In recording these bass-centric pieces, he would layer bass with subtle overdubs of lap steel guitar, vintage keyboards, and drum machines, with Arcila's prints displayed around the studio. The project proved to be an auspicious collaboration for the couple, who, as The New York Times put it, "share an aesthetic of haunting introspection, and the desire to seek out beauty in austerity."
Other critics have described Opsvik's work as "sonorous," "like a waking dream," and able "to transport the listener to another time and place, creating a cinematic experience...[like] the soundtrack to an imaginary film." His Overseas records create "a world of unfolding soundscapes" that defy categorization; they have "a compositional complexity that suggests jazz, [but] also references a diverse and imaginative palette of genres and influences." Opsvik's jazz is "the slow burn, down-turned variety that still has plenty of beauty underneath all of its darker undertones." But it's not just jazz for jazz-heads. By tapping into the energy, groove, and directness of rock, Opsvik reach people who are afraid of jazz and think they have to "understand" it.
Ultimately, Opsvik is the epitome of a multi-faceted, multi-instrumentalist working musician. While steadily playing gigs and recording sessions as a bass player, he is also a capable hand on the guitar, the keyboard, or behind the drums. At the Greenwood Underground, his basement studio, Opsvik records, mixes, and produces his own music, as well as various projects for his friends. Since 2007, he has also been running the Loyal Label, releasing a carefully curated catalog of albums, which run the gamut in terms of musical exploration but are all united with careful aesthetic choices and creative graphic design.
Maturing as a musician, Eivind never wanted to be up front in the band, but it would be incorrect to say he's been hiding. As a kid, watching bands perform on Norway's only TV channel, his gaze was instinctively drawn to the rhythm section, waiting for the camera to move the tight frame off the singer so that he could catch a glimpse of the bass player's steady hands or the drummer's hypnotic concentration. The rhythm section were the guys with their heads down doing the real work. Adolescent instincts are pure in that they don't know why they want what they want, but the quiet and focused dignity that Eivind honed in on has driven his life for the past 30 years.
(Eivind is currently a member of these bands/projects: Tony Malaby's Paloma Recio, Die Trommel Fatale, Nate Wooley Quintet, Skuli Sverrison's Seria, Two Miles A Day (Sacks, Maneri, Motian), Anthony Braxton's Tristano Project, Vinnie Sperrazza's Apocryphal, David Binney, Okkyung Lee, Jeff Davis Trio with Russ Lossing, Mary Halvorson's Reverse Blue, Plainville, Kris Davis' Capricorn Climber, Håkon Kornstad, Rocket Engine, Tone Collector, Jesse Harris' Cosmo, The Interaction of Non-Interaction (w Ben Gerstein), Poor Pluto ...and more)"-Eivind Opsvik Website (http://eivindopsvik.com/)
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