Eisenstadt, Harris - Recent Developments
"Recent Developments is the latest project from NY composer, percussionist, and bandleader Harris Eisenstadt. A quirky nonet that includes many of Brooklyn's most esteemed creative musicians, the project marks the 20th album of Eisenstadt's career as a bandleader (including five previous releases on Songlines) alongside over 40 recording credits as a collaborator. Recent Developments is the fifth installment in Eisenstadt's music for medium-sized ensembles, which also includes Fight or Fight (2003), The All Seeing Eye + Octets (2006), Woodblock Prints (2010), and Canada Day Octet (2012). The compositions explore a range of polyphonic/polyrhythmic textures and emphasize the unique instrumentation's rich timbral variety. Its unique and inspired aggregate of musical personalities includes Anna Webber on flute (John Hollenbeck, Matt Mitchell), Sara Schoenbeck on bassoon (Roscoe Mitchell, Wayne Horvitz), Nate Wooley on trumpet (Evan Parker, Anthony Braxton), Jeb Bishop on trombone (Ken Vandermark, Alexander Schlippenbach), Dan Peck on tuba (Steve Lehman, Tony Malaby). Brandon Seabrook on banjo (Alison Miller, Ben Allison), Eivind Opsvik on bass (David Binney, Kris Davis), and Hank Roberts on cello (Bill Frisell, Tim Berne). Eisenstadt sketched all the music in nine hours on a transatlantic flight home to Brooklyn at the end of a tour. Two months of intense revisions followed, drawing on influences including Jane Jacobs' The Death and Life of Great American Cities, David Chase's The Sopranos, Beni Ourain-style rug weaving of the Berbers from the Atlas mountains in Morocco, and the mid-sized ensemble compositional strategies of Henry Threadgill, Dave Douglas, and John Zorn. The form of Recent Developments is divided into fourteen parts: six ensemble sections and eight discreet transitional sections of varied instrumentation in which snapshots of the material from the six ensemble sections are re-imagined and interpreted freely in sub-ensembles of varied instrumentation."