Eivind Opsvik – Overseas III

Eivind Opsvik – 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. “Overseas III” is the culmination of five years of playing with the same act, and is released on Opsvik’s own label, Loyal Label. The seven tracks on “Overseas III” give listeners fifty-three minutes of Opsvik’s own interpretations on what current jazz music should sound like.

Opsvik and Overseas bounce back and forth during “Overseas III” between tracks that could conceivably be present on a progressive radio station or NPR affiliate (“Whiff of Wood”, “Breath of Bark”) and tracks that will require that listeners sit down and focus for a good ten-fifteen minutes (“Everseas”, “Lull of Lumber”). The one commonality that is present during the entirety of “Overseas III” is the fact that Opsvik et al vary things up with each minute they play. This means that one minute of a track like “Everseas” 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 “Overseas III” can be created by the saxophone, cymbals, vibraphone, or bass. What results during “Overseas III” 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 “Overseas III”. If you can make it out to a venue where Opsvik is playing, do so. The challenging arrangements that are commonplace in Opsvik’s music provide individuals with a gift that takes numerous listens to properly “get”. “Overseas III” works on so many levels, regardless of individuals’ experience with different musical genres or personal tastes.

Top Track: Whiff of Wood

Rating: 7.4/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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