Reviews that mention Bruce Eisenbeil

February 11, 2014

Totem

Voices of Grain
New Atlantis CD 007

By Ken Waxman

Advancing the idea of the guitar power trio while subtlety ignoring most of its principles, Totem’s high-quality, second CD forges an individual and more profound path than its more mundane 2008 debut session.

Although snapping guitar runs, sluicing bass continuum and repetative drum beats which define fusion are present on the introductory “Genosong”, the remainder of the disc is angled towards exploring new sound patterns which are much more likely to be heard on an improv session than a (jazz) rock date. Sophisticated players, guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil, bassist Tom Blancarte and drummer Andrew Drury have experience with most modern music variants and the only jazz-rock shibboleth they preserve is boiling excitement created by three instruments playing at full tilt. Even a pseudo-blues like “Towards Jouissance” is elaborated without any overwrought rock-blues excesses. While eminently capable of echoing licks and furious single-string solos, Eisenbeil here instead directs his lines to complement the ruggedly rhythmic undertow from Blancarte’s string scrubs and Drury’s wrenching percussion fills. MORE

November 27, 2009

Leimgruber/Lehn

Lausanne
For4Ears CD 2072

Tom Hamilton/Bruce Eisenbeil

Shadow Machine

Pogus 21051-2

Detached from the not-so-tender blandishments and showy gimmickry of pop music, the synthesizer can be a highly pliable improvisational tool in the right hands – as these superlative duo sessions demonstrate.

Like any instrument used by a particular musician, it’s the individuality of the performer that angles sound towards the unexpected. Plus the autonomy implicit in Free Improv means that the synthesizer players here use their machines differently. New York-based Tom Hamilton’s program on Shadow Machine is more spatial, while Köln’s Thomas Lehn’s improvising on Lausanne is more spectral. MORE

November 27, 2009

Tom Hamilton/Bruce Eisenbeil

Shadow Machine
Pogus 21051-2

Leimgruber/Lehn

Lausanne

For4Ears CD 2072

Detached from the not-so-tender blandishments and showy gimmickry of pop music, the synthesizer can be a highly pliable improvisational tool in the right hands – as these superlative duo sessions demonstrate.

Like any instrument used by a particular musician, it’s the individuality of the performer that angles sound towards the unexpected. Plus the autonomy implicit in Free Improv means that the synthesizer players here use their machines differently. New York-based Tom Hamilton’s program on Shadow Machine is more spatial, while Köln’s Thomas Lehn’s improvising on Lausanne is more spectral. MORE

April 3, 2008

Bruce Eisenbeil Sextet

Inner Constellation Volume One
Nemu 007

By Ken Waxman

Taking up most of the CD with his almost 47½-minute Inner Constellation suite, Manhattan-based guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil structures his composition to take advantage of the cohesive layered textures available from each section of his mini-orchestra. With the strings Jean Cook’s violin, Tom Abbs’s bass, and his own guitars; the horns trumpeter Nate Wooley and saxophonist Aaron Ali Shaikh; plus Nasheet Waits drums, the through-composed work is properly represented, while individual improvisations are showcased as well. MORE

January 15, 2008

Ken Waxman’s Top CDs for 2007

[In alphabetical order]
For CODA Issue 337

1. Muhal Richard Abrams, Vision Towards Essence Pi Recordings Pi23

2. Johannes Bauer/Thomas Lehn/Jon Rose, Futch Jazzwerkstatt JW 010

3. Bruce Eisenbeil Sextet, Inner Constellation Volume One. Nemu 007

4. Exploding Customer, At Your Service Ayler aylCD-063

5. Scott Fields Ensemble, Beckett Clean Feed CFO69 CD

6. Frank Gratkowski/Misha Mengelberg, Vis-à-vis Leo CD LR 476

7. François Houle, Evan Parker, Benoît Delbecq La Lumière de Pierres psi 07.02

8. Lucas Niggli Big Zoom, Celebrate Diversity Intakt CD 118 MORE

November 21, 2006

Carnival Skin

Carnival Skin
Nemu 003

By Ken Waxman

Blending extended techniques from a variety of genres – including modern notated composition – with elements of Ornette Coleman-like free jazz, Carnival Skin proclaims its individuality in instrumentation.

That’s because the German-American quintet has as one lead voice, Bruce Eisenbeil’s guitar – an instrument whose sinuous fills and rough chording aren’t often heard in hard-core free improv situations. Similarly the overall instrumentation is less than commonplace. MORE

July 14, 2003

FLINN/EISENBEIL/WREN

Keep The Meter Running
9 Winds NWCD 0246

One of the most exciting parts of group improvisation for me is that sense of not quite being sure whether what you can hear is you or not,” declares veteran British bassist Tony Wren. And this exciting session, featuring Wren, New York-based guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil and Los Angeles’ drummer Stephen Flinn exhibits this in spades.

A first time meeting between the two string players, the startling sounds produced attest to the versatility of the trio members, not one of whom is satisfied with the conventional sounds usually created with his respective instrument. All through these series of duo and trios, it’s not only sometimes impossible to ascribe a certain sound to a certain musician, although you can attest with certainty that either no one or all three are really percussionists. MORE

March 1, 2002

STEVE SWELL

Presents Particle Data Group
Cadence Jazz Records CJR 1139

Voicing disparate instruments together in a small group can be a challenge for even the most accomplished arranger. When the context is free improvisation the creation can be even dicier without expected parts to follow.

That this CD of instant compositions hangs together so well is a testament to the cooperative intuition of the three musicians involved. Selfless in terms of deep listening and quick reflexes, each player manages to subsume whatever agenda he follows for the greater good without resorting to New Age noodling. MORE

August 24, 2000

BRUCE EISENBEIL

Mural
CIMP #194

A few years ago someone wrote that all major jazzmen are romantics, including such surprising figures as Ornette Coleman and Thelonious Monk. While guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil isn't in their class -- yet -- on the evidence of this CD, he's trying to reflect unsentimental passion while wrestling with the guitar's place in post-modern jazz.

In a way both these tasks ran parallel. For none of the all-original tunes on this session sound like the standard saccharine ballads which have become the bane of mainstream jazzers. At the same time, although New York-based Eisenbeil studied with the likes of Joe Pass and Howard Roberts, his playing no more resembles that of a ordinary lounge plectrumist than Coleman's did Paul Desmond's.

MORE