194

Mathias Eick: The Door

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Mathias Eick: The Door As the ECM label nears its fortieth birthday, its vitality, inventiveness and, of course, its vaunted sound continue to be a source of joy for jazz enthusiasts worldwide. Manfred Eicher, ECM's founder, has always recorded those artists in whom he hears his own vision, which affects the rest of the jazz world with each new release.

Not yet thirty, trumpeter Mathias Eick represents the new blood that any institution needs to grow. The remarkably mature, joyous and subtly complex The Door is his first release for ECM as a leader, although he has appeared as a sideman on other ECM recordings, working with older musicians such as drummer Jon Christensen, who goes back to the label's beginnings. He has also added his strong and confident musical personality to guitarist Jacob Young's Evening Falls (2004) and Sideways (2008), pianist/harpist Iro Haarla's stunningly beautiful Northbound and drummer Manu Katche's Playground (2007).

Comprised entirely of Eick originals, The Door impresses immediately with its lyricism and soaring, clarion trumpet lines. The lushness of the recorded sound, and directness of each tune's melodic emotion, places it within the musical world of Northbound. As with Haarla's album, The Door's artistic level is considerably raised by the subtle complexity that lies underneath its surface.

Haarla controlled her own creation, but here the credit goes to pianist Jon Balke, who rarely appears as a sideman and, to a lesser extent, percussionist Audun Kleive and bassist Audun Erlien. There is a tension between Eick's highly directed lines and the openness of the arrangements which allow Balke to almost craft the sound by adding many telling and appropriately placed details.

The Door is under fifty minutes, but feels longer due to its pacing, richness and intensity. As demonstrated immediately by the opening title track, Eick fuses many different genres into his music. A melodic phrase, harmony or rhythm that seems simple will surface, pushing the music towards the popular, only to have more complexity added to draw it back into the realm of art music.

The main characteristic of the music is its dramatic content, which is carefully controlled and shaped, while logically developing the emotional story. Each tune inhabits its own universe, but they share a sense of appreciation for beauty and the joy of living a creative life, tempered, however, by a Nordic reticence.

With The Door, Eick has made an extremely strong statement of musical purpose. "Cologne Blues," with its Chopin-esque underpinnings, unhurried intensity and a marvelous solo from Balke (with a nod to pianist Bobo Stenson) says it all: outstanding.


Track Listing: The Door; Stavanger; Cologne Blues; October; December; Williamsburg; Fly; Porvoo.

Personnel: Mathias Eick: trumpet, guitar, vibraphone; Jon Balke: piano, Fender Rhodes; Audun Erlien: electric bass, guitar; Audun Kleive: drums, percussion; Stian Carstensen: pedal steel guitar (3-5).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ECM Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Cinema Spiral" CD/LP/Track Review Cinema Spiral
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 31, 2016
Read "For The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review For The Unknown
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 9, 2016
Read "Iridescent Clouds" CD/LP/Track Review Iridescent Clouds
by James Nadal
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Inner Agent" CD/LP/Track Review Inner Agent
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 20, 2016
Read "Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen" CD/LP/Track Review Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "The Eastcote Studios Session" CD/LP/Track Review The Eastcote Studios Session
by John Eyles
Published: November 30, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!