Eivind Opsvik â€“ Overseas III / 2008 Loyal Label / 7 Tracks / http://www.eivindopsvik.com/ /
The name Eivind Opsvik may not immediately ring a bell, but he is currently playing in acts such as Hari Honzu, Rocket Engine, the Ben Gerstein Collective, and the Kris Davis Quartet. He (and the acts that he is or has been in) have been chronicled in JazzTimes and the New York Times; he is no stranger to major labels, either , releasing a live CD on Universal Records. â€œOverseas IIIâ€ is the culmination of five years of playing with the same act, and is released on Opsvikâ€™s own label, Loyal Label. The seven tracks on â€œOverseas IIIâ€ give listeners fifty-three minutes of Opsvikâ€™s own interpretations on what current jazz music should sound like.
Opsvik and Overseas bounce back and forth during â€œOverseas IIIâ€ between tracks that could conceivably be present on a progressive radio station or NPR affiliate (â€œWhiff of Woodâ€, â€œBreath of Barkâ€) and tracks that will require that listeners sit down and focus for a good ten-fifteen minutes (â€œEverseasâ€, â€œLull of Lumberâ€). The one commonality that is present during the entirety of â€œOverseas IIIâ€ is the fact that Opsvik et al vary things up with each minute they play. This means that one minute of a track like â€œEverseasâ€ may elicit the sounds of a wet street in a New York City-sized metropolis, while the next may bring Opsvik into an ethereal sound.
The range of options are truly limitless, and so are the role positions that all elements of the band can take. The hints of narrative that peek through at points during â€œOverseas IIIâ€ can be created by the saxophone, cymbals, vibraphone, or bass. What results during â€œOverseas IIIâ€ is an all-encompassing story, told by six individuals, that wills tick with individuals for a while after the disc sputters to a stop. Opsvik, no doubt due to his years in the scene, has been able to make a very mature album in â€œOverseas IIIâ€. If you can make it out to a venue where Opsvik is playing, do so. The challenging arrangements that are commonplace in Opsvikâ€™s music provide individuals with a gift that takes numerous listens to properly â€œgetâ€. â€œOverseas IIIâ€ works on so many levels, regardless of individualsâ€™ experience with different musical genres or personal tastes.
Top Track: Whiff of Wood