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Mats Eilertsen: Reveries and Revelations

Read "Reveries and Revelations" reviewed by John Eyles

In rock music, the heyday of “and friends" albums (Leon Russell or Eric Clapton releases for examples) seems long past; on such records, the headliner was joined by a famous star names on different tracks, their presence helping to attract publicity and boost sales. The last hooray of the genre probably came with charity recordings such as Band Aid's “Do They Know It's Christmas," “We Are the World" and their ilk. However, away from rock music, Reveries and Revelations suggests ...

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Mats Eilertsen Trio: And Then Comes The Night

Read "And Then Comes The Night" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Norwegian bassist Mats Eilertsen has a large discography as a performer, but his compositional talents are equally striking. His previous ECM release as a leader, 2016's Rubicon, was a composer's showcase featuring a septet. But he has also worked in much smaller configurations, for example Meander (Ora Fonogram, 2017) his recent duet recording with guitarist Jo David Meyer Lysne. This album reunites him with pianist Harmen Fraanje (who appeared on Rubicon) and drummer Thomas Strønen (a fellow band ...

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Mats Eilertsen: And Then Comes The Night

Read "And Then Comes The Night" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

On their first offering for ECM as a trio, And Then Comes The Night, stalwart label mates: bassist/leader/composer {Mats Eilertsen, drummer Thomas Strønen, and ethereal pianist Harmen Fraanje deftly create a sustained work of near impossible beauty and sublime human interaction. With evanescent shifts of time, shaded harmony and tone, Eilertsen--his nuanced writing highlighted on the acutely hailed Rubicon (ECM, 2016)--the bassist boldly strips down from septet to a trio, resulting in a music more expansive, more revelatory ...

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Skydive Trio: Sun Sparkle

Read "Sun Sparkle" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

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 ...

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Skydive Trio: Sun Sparkle

Read "Sun Sparkle" reviewed by Gareth Thompson

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 ...

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Mats Eilertsen: Rubicon

Read "Rubicon" reviewed by John Kelman

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 ...

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Mats Eilertsen Trio: Sails Set

Read "Sails Set" reviewed by John Kelman

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

Read "Mats Eilertsen: SkyDive" reviewed by John Kelman

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 ...

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Mats Eilertsen Trio: Elegy

Read "Elegy" reviewed by John Kelman

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 ...

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Mats Eilertsen: Short Stories

Read "Short Stories" reviewed by Budd Kopman

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 ...

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Mats Eilertsen: Flux

Read "Flux" reviewed by Budd Kopman

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 ...

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Mats Eilertsen: Turanga

Read "Turanga" reviewed by Budd Kopman

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, ...


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