Mathias Eick – When We Leave – ECM

by | Dec 30, 2021 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

A perfect musical salve for today’s turbulent times…

Mathias Eick – When We Leave – ECM 2660 385 6308 – 38:06 – ****1/2

(Mathias Eick – trumpet and keyboard; Hakon Aase – violin, percussion; Andreas Ulvo – piano; Audun Erlien – bass; Torstein Lofthus – drums; Helge Andreas Norbakken – drums and percussion; Stian Carstensen – pedal steel guitar)

Norwegian trumpeter, Mathias Eick, an active ECM artist, provides a soothing panacea for our troubled world on his new release, When We Leave. It’s his fifth release for the eclectic ECM label. Eick has been active on the Norwegian jazz scene for years, with sidemen forays into big band free jazz, and with fellow countrymen on genre defying creative projects.

His trumpet tone has been described as “mournful, pristine, and meditative.” On this new release you will find all of that, with an intoxicating calming influence provided by the blend of Hakon Aase’s violin and Stian Carstensen’s pedal steel guitar. The soundscape these three musicians bring both transfixes and spreads a sense of elation and warmth. It’s very addictive, and for a cold Winter late night listening session it will be just right.

All the seven tracks were written by Mathias, and the titles are single words that seem to mirror day to day emotional states. Opening with “Loving,” Eick’s burnished tone soars over Ulvo’s piano before Hakon Aase’s violin provides several ecstatic choruses over shimmering piano lines. “Caring” has a gentle theme and is a strong feature for Ulvo’s piano.

Turning” is wistful and has a sense of yearning. “Flying” is a foreboding percussion feature that would be just right for a film noir murder mystery. “Arvo” is a rock influenced tune with a wordless vocal. The drums make their presence known. The tempo is picked up on “Playing,” as Eick’s trumpet rises in emotion ,and the band members respond in counterpoint.

Begging” is elegiac, an anthemic mournful close to seven tracks of “soul soothing” ethereal, mood inducing, blissful ambient jazz. Truly enjoyable…


—Jeff Krow

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