Harris Eisenstadt and Woodblock Prints
Michael McGinnis : clarinet
Jason Mears : alto saxophone
Sara Schoenbeck : bassoon
Mark Taylor : french horn
Brian Drye : trombone
Jay Rozen : tuba
Jonathan Goldberger : electric guitar
Garth Stevenson : acoustic bass
Harris Eisenstadt : drums, compositions
All compositions by Harris Eisenstadt, Heresy Music (SOCAN)
Recorded by Jon Rosenberg at Systems Two, Brooklyn, January 17, 2010
Mixed by Jon Rosenberg January/February 2010
Vinyl Mastered by Arunas Zujus at MAMAstudios
Design by Oskaras Anosovas
Producer - Jeremiah Cymerman
Vinyl Executive producer – Danas Mikailionis
Vinyl Co-producer – Valerij Anosov
Digital Download Producer - Harris Eisenstadt
From Free Jazz Blog:
Harris Eisenstadt - Woodblock Prints (No Business, 2010) *****
Drummer Harris Eisenstadt is an artist with many approaches to music. Two years ago he released the fantastic "Guewel" with two trumpets and free african rhythms, last year "Canada Day", which received general acclaim, and now he's back with music that really defies categorisation.
First of all the line-up is quite unusual with Michael McGinnis on clarinet, Jason Mears on alto saxophone, Sara Schoenbeck on bassoon, Mark Taylor on french horn, Brian Drye on trombone, Jay Rozen on tuba, Jonathan Goldberger on electric guitar, Garth Stevenson on acoustic bass, and of course Harris Eisenstadt on drums.
Second, the music is inspired by Japanese woodblock prints, as depicted on the cover, yet contrastingly, whereas the Japanese art is purposely created against empty space, the density and complexity of Eisenstadt's arrangements are high, with no space for silence, but that is easily compensated by the overall warmth coming from the horn section.
Third, the compositions are tight, with influences even from classical music in some parts, especially so when Schoenbeck's bassoon comes to the foreground, playing in pure chromatic scales without dissonants, but it is equally big band jazz and rock music. The music can be sweet as Glenn Miller yet as raw and wild as free jazz, which it certainly isn't.
Fourth, Heisenstadt's lets the band play his music. Although there are rhythmic subtleties galore, this is not a drummer's album: it's all about the music: gentle, compelling, expansive, inclusive, refined, but equally hard at moments, full of power and drive, with sound explorations and sonic expressivity that are only to be found in the most adventurous forms of jazz.
Since the music cannot be described, ranging from solemn classically sounding chamber jazz full of counterpoint, to exuberant jazz, I will refrain from doing so.
I can only say that Eisenstadt again shows what real creativity means. Surely the result of hard work and many, many try-outs before chiseling this music out of the hard block of musical tradition. It was in there all the time, only nobody saw it ... until now.