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Mathias Eick: Ravensburg

Mike Jurkovic By

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Choosing to explore the greater stage we all inherit then maneuver to the best of our abilities and intentions, Ravensburg, Norwegian trumpeter Mathias Eick's fourth ECM release, is, like the life force itself, an airy, ambient, triumphant affair, casting light and shadow on the potential victories and pratfalls faced within the circle of family and its place within the larger community of friends and strangers.

Coming to life in his grandmother's small home town in southwestern Germany, Eick's quietly rhythmic compositions and breathy tonality gives a lasting, haunting elegance to Ravensburg. Within its watery eight tracks, Eick, doing double duty as atmospheric vocalist, is joined by his long standing pianist Andreas Ulvo, architectural bassist Audun Erlien, drummer Torstein Lofthus, drummer/percussionist Helge Norbakken and new-kid-on-the-block, violinist Hakon Aase (still in his early twenties and veteran of drummer Thomas Strønen's 2015 ECM release Time Is A Blind Guide). It's a group that takes on the strong, colorful personality that can regale any town anywhere. They either light up the room—"Family" opens like a new morning suite with Eick and Ulvo—or lend to the approaching darkness that co-exists or dominates: "August," "Girlfriend," "Ravensburg." As he did on his last release, 2015's rich and fully realized Midwest, Eick sets the tone and you have no choice but to listen with deep satisfaction.

Track Listing: Family; Children; Friends; August; Parents; Girlfriend; Ravensburg; For My Grandmothers.

Personnel: Mathias Eick: trumpet, voice; Håkon Aase: violin; Andreas Ulvo: piano; Audun Erlien: electric bass; Torstein Lofthus: drums; Helge Andreas Norbakken: drums, percussion.

Title: Ravensburg | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: ECM Records

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