One of the boldest jazz performers in New York City, Norwegian born bassist Eivind Opsvik blends a daring variety of progressive rock, classical, ambient and electronic influences—from Neil Young and Pink Floyd to Brian Eno—in creating Overseas III, the third and most compelling and thematically focused project to date by his ensemble Overseas.
The third release on Opsvik’s Loyal label, Overseas III is a collection of seven highly moody and colorful tracks featuring the cool ensembling of Opsvik with tenor saxman Tony Malaby, drummer/percussionist Kenny Wollesen, keyboardist Jacob Sacks (who plays piano, farfisa organ, Wurlitzer, Fender Rhodes and celeste) and vibraphonist Jeff Davis. Adding a unique organic edginess to their vibe is guest pedal steel guitarist Larry Campbell, who has played for years with the legendary Bob Dylan. Overseas III was recorded and mixed completely analog to tape by famed pop engineer Henry Hirsch, whose superstar credits include Lenny Kravitz, Madonna and Mick Jagger.
Over the past four years, Overseas has become a mainstay in NYC’s progressive jazz scene, performing regular gigs at hotspots like 55Bar, Barbès, Nublu and Zebulon; more recently, they have performed at Jimmy’s, The Knitting Factory and the Cornelia St. Café. Playing with Overseas and in many other exciting ensembles, Opsvik has received widespread critical acclaim from some of the country’s top jazz critics. Ben Ratliff from the New York Times wrote, “Eivind Opsvik has an unusual gift for writing small, poignant pieces of music. The color and mood of his music, along with its rhythmic patterns, bleed over into pop, and the sound has a sheer, weightless quality.” Nate Chinen of Jazz Times added, “Norwegian bassist Eivind Opsvik made the most imaginative trilogy of 2005,” while David Dupont from All Music Guide made note that “Opsviks’s own bass has an aching sound, with his lines plumbing the depths to find almost folk-song like melodies.”