Ilhan Ersahin / Dave Harrington / Kenny Wollesen - Invite Your Eye Music Album Reviews

Ilhan Ersahin / Dave Harrington / Kenny Wollesen - Invite Your Eye Music Album Reviews

On their first album as a trio, these jazz-rooted musicians create a luxurious atmosphere drawing from funk, krautrock, and noirish electronica. 

Nublu, the downtown New York venue owned by saxophonist-composer Ilhan Ersahin, makes a big tent of improvised music: You might catch a party-starting Brazilian forro ensemble one night, a shaggy rock’n’roll jam band the next, and a straightforward post-bop quartet on the third. Ersahin himself is a frequent performer, as are Dave Harrington, Darkside member and journeyman guitarist, and Kenny Wollesen, a drummer whose sideman work includes collaborations with John Zorn and Bill Frisell. Like the club itself, all three men are rooted in jazz but not limited by it.

Ersahin gets top billing on Invite Your Eye, their first album as a trio, and his fluid playing is a constant across eight tracks that pull variously from funk, krautrock, and noirish electronica. But the album’s sumptuous atmosphere and collage-like approach to composition will be familiar to any follower of Harrington’s projects: Darkside’s flickering psych odysseys or the electro-jazz miniatures of his 2019 album Pure Imagination, No Country. In addition to playing guitar, bass, and various keyboards on Invite Your Eye, Harrington also served as producer, using the trio’s live ensemble takes as raw material for editing and embellishment, much like Teo Macero did with Miles Davis’ 1970s albums. Harrington is very good at this sort of tinkering: As a purely sonic experience, Invite Your Eye is spectacular. Playing on my home setup, I wished I were instead worshiping at the altar of some $100,000 hi-fi system, ideally with drugs in my system and the sun setting outside my penthouse window. Even in its occasional dissonant moments, this is luxurious music; you don’t listen so much as you bathe in it.

Harrington’s interventions can be drastic, as with Wollesen’s drum kit on the Afrobeat-inflected “Dusty Village,” which seems to descend into a vat of codeine in the final stretch, becoming suddenly slow and sticky as Ersahin’s sax wails on as if nothing has changed. But the most affecting moments are subtler, blurring the line between performance and production, theme and improvisation. Earlier in the same track, a chantlike sax melody takes the lead for a few bars before disappearing, as if beamed in from a different recording entirely. Was it written into the composition? Overdubbed later? Or did Harrington find a particularly piquant section of a different Ersahin solo and drop it in here? Who cares? It sounds great. This could be the album’s guiding ethos.

Psych-funk workouts in the vein of “Dusty Village” make up roughly half of Invite Your Eye. The trio’s playing is top-notch throughout, and Harrington’s production is filled with one inventive moment after another. But as compositions, these groove-oriented tracks can be a little undercooked, often chugging along on a single chord, sounding more like plushly appointed jam sessions than proper tunes. This is a fairly minor gripe: Listening to Ersahin’s sax melt away and reassemble itself atop the heist-scene rhythm of the title track, I don’t really care that his solo isn’t anchored to any particular central melody. Still, it would be interesting to hear this trio make an album with compositions as finely wrought as their arrangements.

I’m more partial to the spacious, relatively free-tempo explorations that make up Invite Your Eye’s other half. On “And It Happens Everyday,” the album’s opener and best tune, Harrington leads the band through a series of sunlit chords, sounding more than a little like Frisell. Ersahin spins out delicate arpeggios, the sturdiness of the harmonic framework giving him better footing as a soloist than he gets on the one-chord groovers. The two-part “Long Goodbye” suite bears no direct relation to John Williams’ title theme to the Robert Altman slacker-detective classic, which strikes me as mildly unfortunate—these guys could probably nail that song’s delicious languor. But there’s something of the film’s shaggy-dog aspect to the way “The Long Goodbye” ambles through its ideas, especially in its second part, an assemblage of vibraphone, piano, and fizzing electronics that dissolves just as it seems on the verge of cohering. The music doesn’t always follow a clear line from one point to the next, but when the scenery is this beautiful, Ersahin and company can get away with losing the plot from time to time.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Ilhan Ersahin / Dave Harrington / Kenny Wollesen - Invite Your Eye Music Album Reviews Ilhan Ersahin / Dave Harrington / Kenny Wollesen - Invite Your Eye Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on March 16, 2022 Rating: 5


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