Live recordings at the 2014 Vancouver International Jazz Festival from drummer Harris Eisenstadt's excellent and lyrical Golden State chamber jazz ensemble, here as a quartet with Michael Moore on clarinet, Sara Schoenbeck on bassoon, and Mark Dresser on bass.
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Catalog ID: SGL 1610-2
Squidco Product Code: 20325
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded live in concert at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival in 2014.
Harris Eisenstadt-drums, composer
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1. The Arrangement Of Uneven Things 6:54
2. Sevin In Six / A Particularity With A Universal Resonance 14:25
3. A Kind Of Resigned Indignation 9:56
4. Agency 8:02
5. Gleaning 10:17
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sample the album:
"For Harris Eisenstadt's second release with his Golden State quartet, we recorded in concert at the 2014 Vancouver jazz festival, and Michael Moore's clarinet replaces Nicole Mitchell's flute, as Nicole was not available for the Canadian festivals tour. As Harris says, "Golden State has been a kind of serendipitous special project. The genesis of it came about while I was in residence at California Institute of the Arts in 2012. Sara [Harris's wife] came out with me, and I thought since Mark Dresser and Nicole Mitchell lived in Southern California, it would be a nice opportunity to get the four of us together in a small group setting. It went great, so it seemed like the project should have some life. Same thing this time around: Michael stepped in, and the direction of the group changed. It took on this interesting life in different ways than it did the first time. Michael has a beautiful, playful, lyrical style, a harmonically fluid style; a supremely natural way of playing melodically and harmonically and rhythmically all at the same time, all in such deep ways. He brings a wonderful sense of spontaneous ensemble interplay that I've always loved in his work with two long-standing groups, ICP Orchestra and Available Jelly. He really introduced his own sense of spontaneous orchestration to Golden State, which worked great."
As before, the basic concept of the band is putting orchestra instruments in chamber and improvising contexts; influences include Eric Dolphy, Yusef Lateef, and the AACM, particularly Wadada Leo Smith, whom Harris studied with at CalArts, and Henry Threadgill. But there are other differences: "There's something more straightforward about these songs in a way. They mostly follow fairly conventional forms, even head-solos-head in some cases, though with quite open approaches to solo sections and written materials. As for my own playing, I think there's a simplicity or an economy of style meant to fit the compositions. If a song doesn't ask for multiple high-wire acts to come off all at the same time and instead needs one focused task to unfold patiently, then that's what I'll do." We're still talking about avant-garde chamber jazz, but somehow the feel is earthier, the music is a bit more grounded in jazz, and while the recording is studio-like in its sonic precision, the vibe of a super-attentive audience can be felt in the playing.
As usual with Harris, the titles of the pieces have specific references. "The Arrangement of Unequal Things" is a quote from Richard Ford's Canada referring to John Ruskin's idea that composition is the arrangement of unequal things - in this case, "moving between duple and triple feels both in the written materials and as contrasting environments for clarinet and bassoon solos." "Seven in Six" is a line in 7 on top of a longer line in 6, while "A Particularity with a Universal Resonance" is "three elegiac, meditative sections, and ultimately, a more uplifting strolling section that Michael solos on"; the title is taken from the obit for James Gandolfini in the NY Times. "A Kind of Resigned Indignation" is from the Times' obit for Nora Ephron: "the solos and overall spirit are definitely indignant." "Agency" is about "the ways in which each musician negotiates the composition in improvisatory ways." "Gleaning" refers to "collecting leftover crops after a harvest, an apt reference to my compositional process. To glean also means to extract information. I supplied only so much information to the musicians; they extracted the information they needed and constantly re-cast the materials."
Since the recording the band has played three gigs with Pascal Niggenkemper on bass, and with Chris Speed subbing for Michael in New York. "So it's been this fluid project as it turns out, and the one constant ends up being Sara Schoenbeck on bassoon. In the end Golden State is a project built for my wife and me to get to play together in a small ensemble setting. Sara has been my longest active musical partner (in addition to our personal partnership). Since we had our son, Owen, almost six years ago, we have had less opportunity to play together. Wherever Golden State goes in the future, it will always be a small group, chamber-oriented project built on my collaboration with Sara. In a way, it's in homage to our time together in California; I lived in Los Angeles for seven years, Sara grew up in the Bay Area then lived in L.A. for eleven years."-Songlines
• 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 Sara Schoenbeck
"Sara Schoenbeck is a bassoonist who dedicates herself to expanding the sound and role of the bassoon in the worlds of classical, contemporary notated and improvised music. The Wire magazine places her in the "tiny club of bassoon pioneers" at work in contemporary music today and the New York Times has called her "riveting, mixing textural experiments with a big, confident sound."
Originally from California, Sara spent her time on the west coast freelancing in various orchestral bassoon sections such as Santa Barbara Symphony, California Symphony, Redlands, Mancini Orchestra, the Dakah Hip Hop Orchestra and touring as a member of creative music ensembles Gravitas Quartet with Wayne Horvitz, Ron Miles and Peggy Lee, Anthony Braxton's 12+1(tet) and Vinny Golia's Large Ensemble. Sara also recorded for various sound and film projects including the Matrix 2 and 3 and Spanglish.
Sara now calls Brooklyn home and performs regularly with Petr Kotek's SEM ensemble, the composers group WetInk, Wordless Music Orchestra, LPR, Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Orchestra, Gravitas, Harris Eisenstadt's Golden State Quartet,the Lyrica Chamber Orchestra as well as performing with many other creative and inspiring musicians in the New York scene.
She has performed at major venues and festivals throughout North America and Europe, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, the Kitchen, Iridium, Disney Hall, SXSW, New Orleans Jazz Festival, Berlin Jazz Festival, Free Music Festival in Antwerp Belgium, Biennale Musica in Venice Italy, Montreal Jazz Festival, Ottawa Jazz Festival, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and the San Francisco Jazz Festival to name a few. Sara received her BFA from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts."-Sara Schoenbeck Website (http://saraschoenbeck.weebly.com/bio.html)
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• Show Bio for Mark Dresser
Mark Dresser is a Grammy nominated, internationally renowned bass player, improviser, composer, and interdisciplinary collaborator. At the core of his music is an artistic obsession and commitment to expanding the sonic, musical, and expressive possibilities of the contrabass. He has recorded over one hundred thirty CDs including three solo CDs and a DVD. From 1985 to 1994, he was a member of Anthony Braxton's Quartet, which recorded nine CDs and was the subject of Graham Locke's book Forces in Motion (Da Capo). He has also performed and recorded music of Ray Anderson, Jane Ira Bloom, Tim Berne, Anthony Davis, Dave Douglas, Osvaldo Golijov, Gerry Hemingway, Bob Ostertag, Joe Lovano, Roger Reynolds, Henry Threadgill, Dawn Upshaw, John Zorn. Dresser most recent and internationally acclaimed new music for jazz quintet, Nourishments (2013) his latest CD (Clean Feed) marks his re-immersion as a bandleader. Since 2007 he has been deeply involved in telematic music performance and education. He was awarded a 2015 Shifting Foundation Award and 2015 Doris Duke Impact Award. He is Professor of Music at University of California, San Diego.- Website (https://www.mark-dresser.com/bio)
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Eisenstadt, Harris (w/ Moore, Schoenbeck, Dresser)
Golden State II