Fresh off a European tour to Italy, France, and Slovenia, Eivind Opsvik‘s band Overseas played with a “take no prisoners” attitude at Greenwich House Music School last night. The music they performed was deep with interwoven textures and exploded with rich, shifting flavors each set in generous, though not overwhelming proportions. At the center, Opsvik’s warm tone gives this music surprising buoyancy as the other contributors seem to maneuver around him as they collectively build vivid sonic architectures. The songs really move and develop, introducing new ideas readily throughout, evidence of thoughtful, imaginative compositions. This music is broadly accessible while maintaining a refreshing edginess, all bound together in cohesive abstraction.
Opsvik is one of the premier bassists of his generation and has been a stalwart of the New York scene since the late 90s. Overseas also consists of tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, pianist Jacob Sacks, guitarist Brandon Seabrook, and drummer Kenny Wollesen. Malaby and Seabrook, both intense, fiery players, connected particularly well, often in momentary surges or when one supported while the other soared. Meanwhile, Sacks and Wollesen worked the angles–playing with the open spaces via dashing forays.
Overseas performs incredibly well together from years of familiarity. Their first record, Overseas, was released in 2003, with subsequent releases in 2005, 2008, and 2012 (Overseas II, III, and IV, respectively). Their recordings reveal a great deal of evolution over the years, exhibiting an aesthetic that ranges from the roots of free jazz to rock-tinged lyricism and avant pop. We can only hope that a fifth record is coming soon.
This concert is part of the Sound It Out Series at the Greenwich House Music School (46 Barrow Street, West Village, NYC), organized by Bradley Bambarger. It is a wonderful series with many other upcoming performances. For a full list, click here.