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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Skydive Trio: Sun Sparkle

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Norwegian guitarist Thomas Dahl's primary project is the Skydive Trio with bassist Mats Eilertsen and drummer Olavi Louhivuouri. The trio is an off-shoot of a quintet of the same name that includes tenor saxophonist Tore Brunborg and pianist Alexi Tuomarila. Sun Sparkle is the second release from the smaller group whose sound, like the album title, reflects ideas from both familiar and eclectic musical worlds. Dahl has collected a number of honors in his native land, including Norway's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Skydive Trio: Sun Sparkle

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There are parts of Norway where the sun hardly sets for months on end. It stays bright all night and dawn is never dark. The essence of this strange polar light finds its way into Sun Sparkle, the second album from Norwegian act Skydive Trio. Its predecessor, Sun Moee, also referenced our great burning star, which can hardly be coincidence. There is something both mythic and solar about this trio's music. Fittingly it also comes over as equally retro and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jo David Meyer Lysne & Mats Eilertsen: Meander

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Norwegian guitarist Jo David Meyer Lysne and double bassist Mats Eilertsen make their debut as a duo here. Meyer Lysne is a young player with a very individual approach to the acoustic guitar; Eilertsen is a veteran with over a hundred recordings on his resume, experience that really helps to bring Meyer Lysne's concepts into focus. This is an acoustic project at its core, but both performers also employ electronic effects to expand the possibilities of their instruments. Recording and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mats Eilertsen: Rubicon

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It's no news to learn that we're the confluence of our many experiences: life, love, music....everything that we are comes from where we've been, what we've done, what we've experienced. That said, it doesn't mean that we can't move in completely new directions or try something completely foreign to us. Still, it's almost impossible to do anything--even things that are intentionally new and different--without there being some inescapable links to our past. With Mats Eilertsen's evocative Rubicon, the double bassist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mats Eilertsen Trio: Sails Set

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Sophomore recordings can be a challenge, especially if the debut is a winner. Slowly but surely, Mats Eilertsen has been building up his own discography as a leader, and starting to rival the Norwegian bassist's larger group of recordings as a sideman/guest. SkyDive (Hubro, 2012) expanded on Radio Yonder (Hubro, 2009) by turning an already superb quartet to an even better quintet. But for his second recording with the open-minded trio debuted on Elegy (Hubro, 2011), rather than change personnel, ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Mats Eilertsen: SkyDive

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Mats Eilertsen SkyDive Hubro Music 2011 It's significant that, in the personnel listing to SkyDive, Mats Eilertsen lists himself last, despite having composed all its nine tracks, put the group together and produced the recording. It's a simple truth about a humble Norwegian bassist who has, in the past decade or so, been gaining considerable traction, as a co-founding member of the cooperative group The Source, responsible for a number of recordings including the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mats Eilertsen Trio: Elegy

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He's best-known internationally for his work on ECM recordings by artists including guitarist Jacob Young, pianist Wolfert Brederode, and, most recently, pianist Tord Gustavsen, with whom he's been touring in support of Restored, Returned (2010). But while these associations might suggest a bassist disposed to gentler forms and understated freedom, they're only two of Mats Eilertsen's many sides. A busy bassist in his native Norway, Eilertsen's broader reach can be heard on singer/songwriter Solveig Slettahjell's Tarpan Seasons (Universal, 2010), Hardanger ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mats Eilertsen: Short Stories

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Short Stories, with fourteen tracks totaling less than forty minutes, is a disc of all solos (except for the last track) that manages to be intense and calming at the same time. Most current jazz releases have an overriding theme, or at least an attitude--compositional or otherwise--that binds the tracks together. That the motives of bassist Mats Eilertsen are not obvious makes the release all that more intriguing. What is obvious is the overall sound, which is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mats Eilertsen: Flux

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Bassist Mats Eilertsen is in high demand as a sideman, and a member of quite a few longstanding groups. As a leader and composer, Eilertsen put out the very interesting and atmospheric Turanga (AIM Records, 2005). The outstanding Flux brings together the same players, but in an entirely different style. What is immediately apparent in the music is the group camaraderie that brings a sense of effortlessness to its members' interplay. The result is a sense of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mats Eilertsen: Turanga

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Turanga is a low-key but intense album that is evocative of states of mind rather than sound images. The publicity sheet that came with the record has “(movement, rhythm, flow)" next to the title, and the recording certainly has those components in spades. While on the whole it has a Middle Eastern/Southeast Asia feel, it is mostly covert, except on “Oasis, and perhaps “Gamelange. Otherwise, the sense of place is subconscious. The players are from Northern Europe, specifically Norway, Sweden, ...