Drummer Harris Eisenstadt first impressed me at the free Sunday music series at New York's Downtown Music Gallery. The first track on this disc starts off with a nebulous head which quickly find its place: this is one of the finest examples of a rhythm section with free horns; the acoustic bass (Michael Dillon) and drums allude to dub and funk, but play free.
The second track, "Ballad," the only one with different personnel, is an excellent trio with Wadada Leo Smith on his trumpet which when he's on, always seemed to me like a divining rod, seeking the spare but fierce or moving notes like lightning. Here, he's on. Vinny Golia's baritone sax adds good bottom for texture.
Trumpeter Jeff Eliasson and alto Jesse Gilbert are tight, man, and when they make unison strikes, look out. Eliasson runs a few apt Dave Douglas phrases on "For Chris Ripp," but otherwise has his own style. Dillon's bass solo on "Saying It In Different Ways" is deep rather than virtuosic; kudos to his playing throughout.
The final track is for the late pianist Glenn Horiuchi, so important to the Asian jazz community, who died of colon cancer June 2000.
It would be a shame to miss out on this disc because the players are not familiar. If you tend to be a fan of discs on Loveslave (Granelli Saft, Tronzo, Hasselbring, et al.) You'll enjoy this more abstract and out version of their tight, fun music.
Track Listing: 1. To Open Up a Can of Whoopass. 2, Ballad. 3. Saying It In Different Ways. 4. For Chris Ripp. 5. Untitled. 6. Heartbeats, for Glen Horiuchi.
Personnel: Harris Eisenstadt, drumset; Michael Dillon, acoustic bass; Jeff Eliasson, trumpet; Jesse Gilbert, alto saxophone; Wadada Leo Smith, trumpet (track 2 only); Vinny Golia, baritone sax (track 2 only).