Photo by Yukio Fukushima

“One of the most unique jazz guitarists to emerge in decades.”
~ Harvey Pekar, JazzTimes

“Eisenbeil transcends the perceived limitations of his instrument primarily by evolving new conceptual and technical approaches to playing it” ~ Barry Cleveland; Guitar Player Magazine

“About as revolutionary as music can actually get.” ~ The Wire

“Strikingly original” ~ Downbeat

“Outrageously exciting” ~ Ben Watson

“Disarmingly hypnotic” ~ Derek Taylor

“Prophetic” ~ Jazz Improv Magazine

“A brilliant mixing of straight-ahead harmonic concepts and avant-garde language.” – Thomas R. Erdmann; Jazz

“This guitarist often sounds as if he’s disassembling the instrument. He isn’t; he’s breaking down preconceived notions of harmony, melody, rhythm, and sound itself and the effort can be as exhilarating as the results.” ~ Francis Davis, Village Voice


Critical Acclaim for TOTEM> Voices of Grain (New Atlantis)

2013 Top 10 Best Of The Best (all categories) – all writers; Something

2013 Top 10 Jazz List – Steve Holtje;

2013 Top 10 Jazz List – Mark Saleski; Something

2013 Top 10 Avant Garde & Experimental Music – S. Victor Aaron; Something

“This TOTEM> disc is astonishing!” – Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery, NYC

“A true masterpiece” – Eyal Hareuveni; AllAbout

“A masterpiece” • “Champions of the highest level” • “A great record, the kind that is not easily forgotten.” – Vittorio LoConte;

“Wondrous, multifaceted and adventurous” – Barry Cleveland; Guitar Player Magazine

“An extreme sense of artistic adventurism (that is) hugely entertaining” – Glenn Astarita; All About

“A constant breaking and reconnecting of bare life” • “The sounds produced are stark naked” – Tyran Grillo; Between Sound and Space

“Extraordinary interaction” • “Guitar wizardry” • “Original and very captivating” – Grego Applegate Edwards; gapplegateguitar.blogspot

“Serious stuff, not to be missed” – Massimo Ricci; Touching

“Will not leave you indifferent, and that’s a good quality.” – Stef Gijssels; Free Jazz Blog

“Exciting” – Niels Overgård; Jazz NYT Blogspot

“Dazzling and at the forefront of the Downtown creative jazz community” • “one of the most jaw-dropping sets of guitar trio improv yet committed to record • “the band has expanded the lexicon of creative trio improvisation to include a bevy of mind-bending extended techniques for electric guitar, percussion, and upright bass.” – Alan Welding; Pittsburgh Music Magazine


Critical Acclaim for TOTEM> Solar Forge (ESP)

2008 Top 10 Jazz Releases ~ Phil Freeman; The Wire

2008 Top 10 New Releases, All Styles ~ Trevor Hunter; New Music Box – American Music Center

2008 Top 10 New Releases, All Styles ~ Mark Saleski;

2008 Top 10 Jazz Releases ~ Pico;

2008 Top 10 Jazz Releases ~ Stuart Broomer;

2008 Top 10 Jazz Releases ~ Charles Ballas; bardosfreedom.blogspot

“Aesthetically restless trio” ~ Nate Chinen, NY Times

“Restored my faith in contemporary jazz.” ~ Brian Morton, Point Of Departure

“Ruthlessly gritty” ~ Time Out NY

“TOTEM> plays with fire at the edge of musical comprehension and cohesion.” ~ Howard Mandel

“Solar Forge is an impressively intense guitar trio statement for the first decade of the 21st century.” ~ Robert Iannapollo, Signal To Noise

“A new sonic language” • “A clear and well articulated vision” • “The sonic envelope of this trio is actually infinite, as it moves in a vertical manner and surges inside its loose contours, horizontally.” • “Very impressive in its boldness, conviction and execution” ~ Eyal Hareuveni, All About Jazz

“Audacious” • “Bold” • “The cutting edge of today’s free improv avant garde” ~ Russ Musto

“Solar Forge is a warning to be minded pronto, a ray of optimism for bloodthirsty hoodlums lamenting the deficiency of veritable thrills in today’s free music’s state of affairs. Definitely compulsory listening.” ~ Massimo Ricci

“Frenetic free-metal race” ~ Franz A. Matzner, All About

“Gritty, aggressive, intense.” ~ Khristina Narizhnaya, Greenpoint Gazette

“TOTEM>’s modern partnership is perfect.” • “I guarantee you’ve never heard anything like the dense condensations Eisenbeil scrapes out of his strings — not just creative, but exciting and musical.” ~ Greg Burke, Metal

“Beautiful sequences of shifting intersections. TOTEM> is one of the most musically integrated improvising units playing today and Solar Forge is an essential release.” ~ Stuart Broomer, Music Works #102; winter 2008

“One of New York’s most exciting improvising combos” ~ Martin Longley, AAJ-NYC

“Great art” • “An incredible listening experience” • “Solar Forge scalds and sears with a white hot intensity.” ~ Budd Kopman, All About Jazz

“A soundscape which conjures images of post-industrial decay.” • “A powerful reimagining of the guitar trio.” ~ John Sharpe, All About Jazz

“Something new” • “Modern” • “It’s not pleasant to hear, but then again it’s fun to listen to. The music is deeply emotional, but not always the emotions you would like. That’s a strong achievement.” ~ Stefan Gijssels,

“Inhuman” • “Interesting contemporary artists” ~ David Grundy, Eartrip magazine

“Always intense, hectic and never resting, their interplay merges the taste for elegant, microscopic details with a current of sheer power pervading all of their performance. • “Inventive cubist music with a cutting edge.” ~ Eugenio Maggi, ChainD.L.K

“Wildly entertaining New York City based trio” • “Fast, furious and spiraling” • “A continual sense of evolvement” • “Vivid imagery” ~ Glenn Astarita, EJAZZNEWS

“An intense, minutely detailed patchwork of non-idiomatic virtuosity.” ~ Daniel Spicer

“Improvisation that rides the very edge of human perception.” • “Thoughts form, explode and vaporize.” ~

“Chaos with a strong sense of purpose” ~ Alex Henderson, All Music Guide

“Vivid studio recording that kicks abstract ass” ~ Downtown Music Gallery, NYC

“A force of nature” ~ Vittorio LoConte, Music Boom (Italy)

“Special and exciting” • “A rare and wonderful achievement” • “New Timbralism” • “Ecstatic skittering grooves, accents shooting sparks into flammable phrases, Braxtonian parallelism, and all manner of original recipe joy juice spurting from the spigot.” ~ Michael Anton Parker, From the liner notes to SOLAR FORGE


Critical Acclaim For INNER CONSTELLATION (Nemu)

“Astonishing” ~ Budd Kopman, All About Jazz

“Gripping” ~ From the liner notes by Francis Davis

“Remarkable” ~ The Wire

“Epic” ~ Forrest Dylan Bryant, JazzTimes

“Exquisite” ~ SIGNAL TO NOISE

“Great” ~ CADENCE

” Powerful” • “Breathtaking” • “Dynamic Masterwork” • ” Astonishing” • “Gifted” ~ DOWNTOWN MUSIC GALLERY

“Engaging” ~ Tom Watson, Modern

“Extreme energy” ~ All About Jazz New York

“Beautifully odd” • “Aggressive brilliance” • “Rhythmic firestorms” ~ Stuart Broomer, POINT OF DEPARTURE

“Masterful” • “Remarkable” • “Dynamic” ~ Eyal Hareuveni , All About Jazz

“Torrid” • “Supercharged” • “Soaring” • “Punishing asymmetrical forays” • “A continual sonic assault” ~ Glenn Astarita, ejazznews

“Burns!” ~ Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes

“Wild!” ~ KZSU


“Creative” • “Rich and complex” ~ culturejazz (France)

“Originality” ~ Greg Burke, Metal

“Striking” ~ MODISTI

“Excellent” ~ Peter Kuller – Jazz Presenter Radio Adelaide 101.5fm , Australia

“Impressive” • “Amazing” • “Like Fernyhough-drank-too-much-coffee” • “I was floored” ~ Jay Batzner, SEQUENZA

4 out of 5 stars:

“Incredible” • “Exciting” • “A major talent” ~ Tom Sekowski,

“Unusual” • “Luminous” • “Alluring” ~

“Artistic” ~ Midwest Records


“Stellar” ~ Clifford Allen, Paris

“Sounds great.” ~ David Adler,


Critical Acclaim For CARNIVAL SKIN (Nemu)

Top 10 new releases in 2006 ~ Time Out NY, Hank Shteamer

Top 50 Records in 2006 – WNUR DJ Picks

Top 50 Albums in 2006 – WNUR – Based on Airplay

“Acclaimed Performers at the 2006 Montreal Jazz Festival” • “Sculpted sounds combine and collide in unique ways.” ~ Montreal Gazzette

“The members of Carnival Skin have created more than an impression of contemporary modernism but an indelible imprint that marks our conscious and subliminal minds.” ~ Margot Elizabeth Meyers, Jazz Improv Magazine, Winter 2007

“The musicians are all completely taken by their roles of disintegrators of nostalgia.” ~ Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes

“That such disparate backgrounds should interlock so completely is a tribute both to the players and the material.” ~ Ken Waxman, MusicWorks Issue #96

“Boundless energy and imagination” ~ Ed Hazell, Signal To Noise

“Scrupulously brokered group democracy” ~ The Wire

“Freedom of thought segueing into structure, and craftsmanship” • “a refreshing perspective on the current state of modern jazz”
~ Glenn Astarita,

“Eisenbeil fills the space between Evans and Robinson solos with one of his signature arpeggiated blizkriegs, bent smoking notes raining in droves.” ~ All About Jazz

“Sharp-toothed collective improvisation”
~ All About

“The most creative music that I have recently heard.” ~ Dr. Ana Isabel Ordonez,

“Extraordinary downtown all-star quintet” ~ Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery

“Carnival Skin blurs the lines between free jazz, improvisation, and modern composition.” ~ BALTIMORE CITY PAPER

“Huge sounds in close quarters.” ~ NY Press

“Music of rare quality” • “The feeling of doing something fresh creates a special atmosphere in this session.” ~ MUSIC BOOM

&”Instead a more common strategy is blending his cascading fills and sandpaper-like string abrasions with the horn players’ polyphonic output. On the brassman’s “Monster” for instance, the guitarist’s string snapping meets Evans’ quickly vibrated triplets and Robinson’s narrowed tongue squeaks.”
~ MusicWorks Issue #96

“Eisenbeil’s prophetic voice comes like a streak of light out of nowhere surprising us with his range of intensity and extensive vocabulary of sounds that quickly develop into torrid dialogues with Evans and Robinson building into a fiercely collective conversation.” “Eisenbeil assembles a complex network of elemental lines responding to the barrage of technically flawless and complex stick work of Kugel in a like-minded exchange.” “An extremely distinctive voice and approach which lures us to bear witness to his explorations. His sound cuts across the primordial underpinnings of Greene’s assiduous bowing and his ideas are boundless with an unrelenting intensity that flows over, under and through all six compositions in varying degrees.”
~ Jazz Improv Magazine

“So at ease with jazz language that he at various times suggests Grant Green’s bristling funk-like single-note picking and at others the accelerated slurred fingering and flanged delays that various plectrumists in Coleman’s Prime Time bands aimed at, Eisenbeil is no monomaniacal guitar hero.”


Critical Acclaim For OPIUM (CIMP)

Top 10 new jazz release in 2002 – Cadence jazz magazine

“Outrageously exciting.” ~ Ben Watson, Hi-Fi News

“”The results are exceptional and this is one of the better releases of the year.” ~ Steven Loewy, Cadence

“Disarmingly hypnotic.” ~ Derek Taylor, All About

“Something new in the genre of free improvisation.” ~ Steven Loewy, All Music Guide

“An exhilaratingly brash and unpredictable session that is totally unclassifiable.” ~ Shuffle Play

“No Shortage of highlights.”~ Jason Bivens, One Final Note

“A mesmerizing album.” ~ Nick Sheets, Dusted

“Flickering and frenetic single note licks provide an intersection for the quartet’s disparate twists and turns.” ~ EJazzNews


Critical Acclaim For MURAL (CIMP)

“Eisenbeil plays in a strikingly original style, the aural equivalent of a Jackson Pollack painting, laced with abstract filigree lines and an undercurrent of searching lyricism.”
– Paul de Barros, Downbeat, March 2000

“Here is a guitarist who plays as intimately as Wes Montgomery, but who hears harmony as an open chromatic field . . . His originality is evidenced by the fact that he has transcended the distinction between a leading line and a comping strum: He improvises the changes, turning harmonic speculation into the substance of the music . . . This trio is pursuing an agenda as old as Louis Armstrong: helping us feel again. Lovely.”
– Ben Watson, Jazziz, February 2000

“A distinctive voice. ”
– The Wire, January 2000

“Mural is a must for fans of creative guitar playing and vigorous group communication”
– Nirav Soni, Ink 19 magazine, February 2000

“Here, along with drummer Ryan Sawyer and bassist J. Brunka, Eisenbeil exhibits startling chops yet pursues cunning thematic development while reaping the benefits of a sturdy and altogether flexible rhythm section who share Eisenbeil’s penchant for rapid motion and highly literate improv.” 4 stars.
– Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz, January 2000

“The trio creates an environment that is in a constant state of flux . . .in an evolving stream-of-consciousness gameplan.”
– Tripod, January 2000

“Rather than fall back on a noise barrage of avant-garde cliches, Eisenbeil prefers a complementary tack – smoothly executed, single-note lines and well-placed, tastefully screwy chords – which deepens the music’s range without dampening its edge.”
– Sam Prestianni, San Francisco Weekly, August 11,1999

“…dynamic energy and exhuberance.”
– Richard Pitnick, Coast Weekly, August 12, 1999


Critical Acclaim For NINE WINGS (CIMP)

1997 Top Ten Critic’s Pick ~ David Lewis (Cadence Magazine)

“Leading a trio, the young guitarist has an infectiously complicated style of trampling chords and wiggy lines that dart like bats with an attitude.” – Gary Giddins, The Village Voice, February 16, 1999

“Eisenbeil sounds like a wild man in spite of himself. He plays unadorned electric guitar, without effects or accoutrements, in a simple open tone that’s bent into service as an avant-garde instrument. . . . he leads the trio through eight compositions ( and one brief improv) that break down structure into bloody three-way confrontations.”
3 out of 4 stars, Richard Cook & Brian Morton;
– The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, Fourth Edition, 1998

“Bruce Eisenbeil’s original approach on Nine Wings is extraordinary. . . Eisenbeil escapes the usual fretboard constraints in a virtuoso engagement with sound that transcends style. The scope of his sonic dynamics makes most guitar improvisers sound academic, contrived or reliant upon “effects”, while he appears to escape such constraints. His unfettered playing recalls Ornette Coleman’s inventions at the Hillcrest Club. There’s wonderful music here that took my breath away, while Brown and Grassi add beguiling support.”
– David Lewis, Cadence Magazine, December 1997

“One of the thrills as an observer of any scene is spotting the new talent early. Downtown denizons are quickly getting excited about guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil. Though he studied with famed mainstream jazz guitarists Joe Pass and Joe Diorio, he considers himself primarily self-taught, and one listen to his distinctive guitar approach on his album Nine Wings (CIMP) confirms that he comes from no particular school but instead has built a fresh style. His single-note lines are knotty and unpredictable, and he’ll sometimes dwell on chiming, dissonant chords for several bars.”
– Steve Holtje, CMJ New Music Monthly, December 1998

“…the music scintillates.”
– Ben Watson, Hi-Fi News, June 1998

“Eisenbeil mixes a tantalizing, Hendrix-like lyricism with the pointillism of Sonny Sharrock. . . the trio hits a variety of moods and intensity levels, sustaining them all beautifully. . . recalls the probing intensity of early Art Ensemble of Chicago Recordings.”
– Larry Nai, Jazziz Magazine, March 1998

“In the complex of creative tensions that drive jazz, these degrees [of freedom that a musician, a composer, an improviser may pursue] represent one of the fundamentals: the tension between intellect and intuition. The good news here is that guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil and his mates have both in abundance. . . selections range widely, from the traditional balladry – sliding into some lovely time shifting – of “In Retrospect” to the high energy probings of ‘Mercury’.”
– Bill Bennett, Jazz Times March, 1998

“Most guitarists playing free jazz and improvised music these days favor either relentless blammo or spare plinkety-plonk. . . But watch out for New York’s Bruce Eisenbeil. On his debut album, Nine Wings (CIMP), he keeps his tone beautifully clean, eschewing flash and concentrating instead on the unpredictable course of his twisted solos.”
– Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, May 1, 1998.

“…extraordinary young guitarist…the trio is capable of wide open playing that threatens to fly off in every direction and yet they never lose their way… he (Eisenbeil) displays an innate logic in his intense solos…”
– Robert Boardman, Buffalo Artvoice, May 6 1998.

“Bruce Eisenbeil is a brilliant guitar virtuoso who knows the dynamics of his instrument, who has a wonderful sense of melody and an uncanny sense of making the most abstract lines come together in a way that shows that the notes weren’t meant to be played any other way.”
– Sean Lent, Lamppost 40 Jazz Review #1, August 1998.

“Bruce Eisenbeil brings a new aesthetic to the guitar. Nine original compositions show there is still room for a fresh and original approach to the instrument.”
– AFIM music MIX, Jan/Feb, 1998

“Hailing from New York, guitarist Eisenbeil leads his quartet through a rich terrain of harmonically complex free jazz, a place where unbridled improvisation reigns supreme.”
– CMJ ’98 Music Marathon Band Guide

“. . . guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil delivers a cool surprise on ‘Maria’s Grace’.”
– Karl Stark, Philadelphia Inquirer review of WRTI Jazz FM Philadelphia Jazz Showcase Compilation CD, August 1996.

“Near Fatal Funk has created some of the best soundtrack music this side of Barry Adamson’s recent experiments, and that side of Curtis Mayfield’s past glories.”
– Larry Kay, Philly Rock Guide, December 1993