Eivind Opsvik: Overseas (2003)
The limited range here from a normally rowdy bunch of musicians, however, should not be interpreted as sameness. The disc varies both dynamically and melodically. Sometimes the music is low-key funk, as on "Foxtrot," where an open-ended repetition on Wells Hanley's Fender Rhodes creates the illusion of an ever rising foundation, which is then tempered by Jeff Davis' restraint on the drums. Sometimes the musicians sit quietly behind Opsvik, like on his sensuous ballad, "Earthly," followed immediately by "Hertzian Waves," an exploration of space of sorts, complete with blips and pings from Taborn on the Hammond C3 organ.
Ultimately, the musicians take their lead from Opsvik, not their own egosnor, as one might suspect at times, from their own musical instincts. Tony Malaby plays a calm tenor saxophone, and Jacob Sacks only fits in chords on the piano where Opsvik leaves him space. So Overseas winds up with great consistency, highlighted by a very steady tempo. But this is Opsvik's consistency all the way.
Note: this review originally appeared in All About Jazz: New York .
Track Listing: 1. Foxtrot 2. Redford 3. Punchball 4. Ivandovich 5. Italian Movie Theme 6. Twelve Days 7. Quickstep 8. Earthly 9. Hertzian Waves 10. Indian Summer 11. Prelude 12. Overseas
Personnel: Eivind Opsvik (b), Tony Malaby (ts), Loren Stillman (as), Jason Rigby (ss,bcl), Jacob Sacks (p), Craig Taborn (hammond C3 org), Wells Hanley (fender rh), Gerald Cleaver (d), Jeff Davies (d), Dan Weiss (perc)
Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent
Style: Modern Jazz