The Door Mathias Eick

Cover The Door

Album info



Label: ECM

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Contemporary Jazz

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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  • 1The Door07:51
  • 2Stavanger06:58
  • 3Cologne Blues08:47
  • 4October04:41
  • 5December04:44
  • 6Williamsburg07:23
  • 7Fly04:35
  • 8Porvoo04:11
  • Total Runtime49:10

Info for The Door

Norwegian trumpeter Mathias Eick makes his ECM debut with The Door. Label mainstays Jon Balke (piano) and Audun Kleive (drums), along with Nils Petter Molvær associate Audun Erlien (bass), forge a memorable session of lyrical crystal.

The Door can be divided into three parts. The first begins with the title tune and ends with its follow-up, “Stavanger.” Both mark their passage by way of Balke’s unmistakable threading. Strumming the inner strings like a giant zither, he welcomes the rhythm section’s appliqué as might a stained glass window welcome light. Over this, Eick draws his arcs into neighboring lands. Both tracks achieve a remarkable thing: sounding sparsest when the band volumizes its playing, and densest when it treads quietly. Such are the unexpected turns of the album’s flight path, which cleaves trumpet through Balke’s flurry of snowflakes, catching every nuance of the band’s thermal and disappearing in a pinpoint of light just above the horizon line.

For the central three songs, Stian Carstensen (last heard at the bellows on Trygve Seim’s Different Rivers) augments the band with pedal steel guitar. His fluid keening maps the backdrop with its feline prowl and adds a visceral, mournful edge. Of this portion, “October” is a thematic highlight, if not also a low shadow. Situated between “Cologne Blues” and “December,” it scans a city in blackout, working through painful memories in want of the positives that engendered them to begin with. Despite the frigid climate, there is also great movement, a rolling and crashing of waves that recalls The Sea.

The final act is comprised of three further scenes. “Williamsburg” is, like the album as a whole, a tessellation of form and content, which through the voice of Eick’s horn unravels clock parts and rearranges them as a holistic composition. The easygoing nature of this track settles into the album’s moral tinge. “Fly” reaches even higher, soaring into fadeout with the crackle of parchment. This leaves only “Porvoo” to make sense of the traces. Its trio of horn, piano, and brushed cymbals imagines a protracted spelunk into the depths of a solitary mind.

On that last point, what amazes about Eick’s music is the hermetic seal of its arranging. Regardless of how many instruments accompany him, he stands alone. His soulful soliloquizing embraces the listener with its performative strengths, patterning the world over with tree branch and sky. And while the overall narrative seems blanketed in snow, beneath that wintry crust its mementos are still dissolving from last year’s thaw. The effect is sure to please fans of Molvær and Manu Katché, both of whom lead without being lead, saying everything through contact of body and technology.

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

Recorded September 2007 at Rainbow Studio, Oslo
Engineered by Peer Espen Ursfjord
Produced by Manfred Eicher and Mathias Eick

Mathias Eick
Being one of Norways most promising young talents for over a decade, Mathias Eick moves steadily towards being one of the finest musicians from the Northern regions, regardless of age group and genre. Still only 30 years old, Eick has marvellous range of achievements to show for himself; in 2007 he won the International Jazz Talent, awarded to him by the International Jazz Festivals Organization situated in New York. He then won the Statoil Scholarship in 2009, undoubtedly the largest scholarship in Norway, and he is currently heading for release of his second album on one of the worlds most influential jazz record labels, ECM.

In the meantime Eick keeps himself busy participating on several albums playing either trumpet, double bass, vibraphone, piano, guitar, or in his own words “anything needed.” Some of his collaborators have been, among a vast amount of others, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and Chick Corea, Iro Haarla, Manu Katché and Jacob Young. Eick is also a member of the Norwegian genre-defying group Jaga Jazzist, a group with which he has performed for many years.

Eicks band is currently a five-piece, featuring two drummers, bass, piano and Eick himself. The lineup changes invariably as all the participating musicians are amongst Norways finest, but for the most part the band consists of Andreas Ulvo (piano), Torstein Lofthus and Gard Nilssen (drums), and Audun Erlien (bass). The music is composed by Eick and pays tribute to both the truly unique Scandinavian soundscape, as well as the lyricism and melancholy of the American master trumpeter Kenny Wheeler.

Booklet for The Door

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