Bassist-composer Eivind Opsvik, born and raised in Norway but resident in New York City for some two decades, has developed an utterly individual musical soundprint, one that blends the song-minded composition and creative studio craft of art rock with the virtuosic edge and spontaneity of progressive jazz. Opsvik’s sequentially numbered series of instrumental albums dubbed Overseas, begun in 2003, and continues here with Overseas V. Time Out New York called Overseas IV one of the “freshest” albums of 2012, extolling its “depth.” The hooks-galore writing, artful production and sublime playing remain constant in Opsvik’s work, but in the place of the Baroque atmospherics of Overseas IV are post-punk influences, from the melodic bass lines of Joy Division/New Order to the funky stutter of Talking Heads.
Bassist Eivind Opsvik's third offering from his Overseas group, cunningly named Overseas III, distills and centers the eclectic influences that made up Overseas (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2003) and Overseas II (FSNT, 2005) while once again displaying his unique compositional skills that allow both accessibility for the listener and room for his talented players.
Eivind Opsvik is known as a jazz bassist, but Overseas, Vol. 4 (like the others in the series) is perhaps closer to soundtrack music than traditional jazz. He seems to be more interested in creating a mood than a lasting melody. To this end, he assembled a very sympathetic band (Tony Malaby/sax, Brandon Seabrook/guitar and mandolin, Jacob Sacks/harpsichord, piano, Farfisa, and Kenny Wollesen/drums, percussion, etc) that really understands what Opsvik is going for. The album starts with a piece that almost sounds like some kind of classical processional with its timpani and harpsichord. The opening pieces favor long tones and lots of space.