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Bruce Eisenbeil: Mural

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Eisenbeil’s very impressive on Mural, his second CIMP CD, and is one of the most unique jazz guitarists to emerge in decades. He uses a polytonal tetrachordal technique-e.g., on “Caesar” he employs three different modes from three different tonal centers simultaneously. Note also his use of resonant intervals, double-stops in contrary motion and frequent playing in the upper register in the manner of John Coltrane and Albert Ayler. He employs harmonics and strummed chords in his large vocabulary of timbres and textures, and uses repetition to create hypnotic effects and build tension. The intensity of his work varies quite a bit from gentle to agitated.

Eisenbeil’s picked ideas from a wide variety of sources: Sandole, Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Wes Montgomery, Django Reinhardt and some that lie outside jazz and even outside music. For example, his “Blue Poles” was inspired by a Jackson Pollock painting of the same name, and in translating Pollock’s colors to sounds he used a conversion system developed by Olivier Messiaen.

Drummer Ryan Sawyer and bassist J. Brunka work with Eisenbeil here. They’re in the front line frequently, engaged in dialog. Brunka’s a skilled arco player. His economical, percussive pizzicato playing is in the Wilbur Ware tradition. Sawyer sometimes plays loudly and busily, but doesn’t drown out Eisenbeil.