The Destructive Element (Clean Feed; 2013)
Harris Eisenstadt (drums)
Angelica Sanchez (piano)
Ellery Eskelin (sax)
Two years ago, I was floored by the self-titled debut session from this trio of New Yorkers, September Trio. Now with their follow up, The Destructive Element, I can say I'm not surprised by their brilliance. It's just the way they are.
The movement on The Destructive Element is more fluid and with well balanced song structure. "Swimming" is a beautiful midtempo love letter filled with solid, almost gospel influenced chords from Sanchez. While Eskelin's romantic but muscular tone feels like Sonny Rollins hovering over the session.
Eisenstadt always seems to write the pieces with his band member's freedom in mind. On "Back and Forth," and "The Destructive Element" he gives Sanchez's classical ideas the floor. And Eskelin layers a solid structure on top. Eisenstadt's brushes provide the subtle hues for a lovely, all-around experience.
Eisenstadt does allow the session to be ballad or bop driven. The trio embarks on improvisation through "Additives" and "Here Are The Samurai." Both have rolling melodies from Sanchez and crashing movements of Eisenstadt's adventurous spirit on the kit. Free-spirited yet providing structure all the way.
The Destructive Element is more developed than it's predecessor but also slightly different. Still keeping an introspective vibe but also providing more opportunities for its members to expand on their own. Harris Eisenstadt has become an excellent composer in various settings. For me, September Trio is one of his best.