Harris Eisenstadt’s Canada Day project was originally a quintet, but the band has undergone several transmutations through the years – an octet (the original quintet plus the horns of Jason Mears, Ray Anderson and Dan Peck), a quartet (without Chris Dingman and his vibraphone) and a trio (during a recent Russian tour), now returning to the four musician format, with only a melodic instrument, Nate Wooley’s trumpet, a piano, played by Alexander Hawkins, and a double bass, in the hands of Pascal Niggenkemper.
The Canadian drummer and composer notes that when an ensemble’s instrumentation and/or personnel changes, it “problematize(s) the notion that an ensemble must stay the same to continue to evolve.” Here we have sonic evidence to support that assertion. The music is different from previous recordings, but the ensemble’s identity keeps its integrity. Rhythm is the basis of everything happening, showing Eisenstadt’s devotion to (and knowledge of) traditional African and Diaspora music systems. Lyricism and abstraction are on equal terms here, often moving from one to the other and back in a flash. A must have / must listen album.
|Brand||Clean Feed Records|
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