Mathias Eick Climbing The Jazz Throne
Every now and again there comes an album I want to listen to again and again. Rarely so to the degree of Mathias Eick · Midwest.
With an all Norwegian band, Eick's third album as a leader on the German label ECM surpasses all my contentment and joy of Jan Garbarek's albums on the same label.
A few names count as the European greats in jazz. Many of whom are linked with ECM, such as Stefano Bollani, Tomasz Stanko, Palle Danielsson, John Taylor and Eberhard Weber. Not to forget Norwegians Jan Garbarek, Arild Andersen, Jon Christensen and Terje Rypdal.
Trumpeter Mathias Eick (36) is one of the more recent additions to a staggering number of Norwegians regenerating ECM and the innovative force of European jazz. His sidemen of choice this time also have relations with the German label, mainly Jon Balke, while Gjermund Larsen, Mats Eilertsen and Helge Norbakken are sought after as sidemen.
Eick himself is a young veteran, coming from the innovative jazz collective Jaga Jazzist. He is also known from ensembles such as Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Music For A While and Motif. He has collaborated with Iro Haarla, Lars Danielsson, Manu Kathcé and Eple Trio.
It felt like a strong message when Mathias Eick and saxophonist Trygve Seim replaced Stanko and Garbarek in Manu Kathcés band on the French Ivorian's second ECM release as a leader.
By then, Eick was flooded with the searchlight of talent award jurors within both jazz, rock and pop. In 2007 he received the award for New Talent from the International Jazz Festivals Organization.
The following year, Mathias Eick released his first album on ECM as a leader. In 2009 he was awarded the Statoil Scholarship in competition with only rock and pop artists. After the release of Midwest 2 March 2015, he also won the DNB award at Kongsberg Jazz Festival.
What Midwest itself is concerned, it is probably my choice as Album Of The Year 2015 regardless of genre, even though it faces fantastic competition from Ida Jenshus, Ingebjørg Bratland and Spidergawd.
Origin: Hem, Lardal, Vestfold (Map)
Recent album: Midwest
(double bass), Helge Norbakken (percussion)
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Studio: Rainbow Studio, Oslo
Engineer: Jan Erik Kongshaug
Streaming: not available
Record company: ECM Records GmbH, München, Germany
Home page: www.mathiaseick.no