Jacob Sacks - harpsichord, fartisa organ, piano
Tony Malaby - saxophone
Brandon Seabrook - electric guitar, mandolin
Eivind Opsvik - bass
Loyal Label 2012
I'm not sure how to begin this review and I'm lost in a search of words to describe Overseas. In the field of creative music dozens of brilliant have emerged over the decades but only few have managed to establish themselves as creative composers. Eivin Opsvik's music reminds, not because of its contents, but rather it's scope and broadness of musical vision and idiosyncracy - the music of Henry Threadgill and his ability to interweave elements seemingly incoherent and un-fitting.
The unique timbre of harpsichord brings to mind the a'la reneissance Nyman's scores, mandolin takes you back even further in time to the times of minstrels' songs while guitar moves the music into the fileds of english progressive rock. Malaby's round and gentle tone on the tenor is pure pleasure and strikes the perfect chords during the carefully arranged and harmonized melodies. All of which creates an impossible to describe blend of genres and timbres and tonalities that prove to be an immesely enjoyable adventure.
There's mystery ("Det Kalde Havet"), heavy guitar riff with a rock march - stomp "(Youth Hopeth All Things, Believeth All Things" that ends with a dark, menacing organ coda) as well as more bring some crazy in rock out ("Robbers and Fairground Folk"), a majestic rock-anthem melody against the dancing wah-wah guitar and percussive fiesta ("Michelle Marie"), utmost lyricism (beatifull duo of arco bass and harpsichord in "Silkweavers' Song") and melody that takes its initial charm from the past leisure and adds modern trance to it ("1786", possible the most furious track of the cd, Malaby's rusty saxophone is on fire against the dark guitar-organ groove) - an entire cd filled with great musicianship (not surprising at all) and most surprising pallette of composistions.
If I were forced to try to find a target listener for this kind of music I'd say a jazz listener who loved most of the early-era Genesis, but, I'd prefer to recommend it to anyone who's curious enough and, as one music video (or was it one picture?) tells more that a thousand words : check the videos below and hear for yourself. I daresay it's one of the most "new ear" releases of the year.
Here's three thousand more words for you (and there's more on the tube):
some tracks from the cd are presented in this radio playlist.