These days I tend to get bored in a matter of minutes. Especially with contemporary jazz. However, there’s a handful of reliable artists providing these ears with music that not only is unquestionably respectable but enforces an analytical approach to it.
Rarely Harris Eisenstadt fails to propose works that raise questions – minus the necessity of instant replies – around the lines of “where is jazz directed right now?” My usual response – when molested by the umpteenth recycling of worn-out clichés – is “straight into the toilet”.
With On Parade In Parede – a live set from 2016 – this didn’t happen.
The main issue being: Eisenstadt is a thinking drummer who translates his polyrhythmic abilities into challenging exercises for his comrades to perform. And if those comrades answer to the names of Nate Wooley, Matt Bauder and Pascal Niggenkemper, expect commonplace not to be exactly welcome.
A humble recommendation: to penetrate the gist of this record, take your time for every piece. Let it unfold, feel it inside, throw clever considerations at will. Then stop and let what was just heard simmer for a minute or two before proceeding to the next track. It’s the same method adopted by yours truly when reading – a couple of pages a day, if so needed – books dealing with subjects equally intriguing and complex. Why rushing across chapters when even a single line deserves to be carefully examined?
You’ll realize that the overall concept backing the compositions has been absorbed much better. The interconnections are clearer than ever. Wooley’s trumpet is impudent and respectful at once, Bauder’s sax exuding a remarkable motivation, Niggenkemper’s bass exploring its own gamuts without prejudice or, god forbid, disorganization.
Finally, there’s a certain drummer who drives everything firmly while setting a few nice traps from which a musician can escape after getting caught. Not a hint of egotism in sight, the drums merely one of the four colors.
Lest one forgets, it is he who wrote this damn fine stuff.