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.

Mathias Eick, 28 years old, is a musician on the rise. Last year he won the International Jazz Award for New Talent of the International Association of Jazz Educators. For ten years he's been a member of the cult between-the-genres band Jaga Jazzist. For ECM he has recorded with Jacob Young (Evening Falls, Sideways), Iro Haarla (Northbound), and Manu Katché (Playground). As front-line soloist of the Katché band he is playing 70 concerts in 2008. Eick has performed with musicians of many styles, from Chick Corea and the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra to Norwegian psychedelic rock band Motorpsycho.
'The Door' is his first leader album and a fine showcase for his writing and his musicianship - his exceptional trumpet playing, but also his multi-instrumentalism: he's heard here also on guitar and vibraphone. As a trumpeter Eick has absorbed many influences - he cites Miles, Clifford Brown, Kenny Wheeler, Tomasz Stanko, Arve Henriksen and Nils Petter Molvær as inspirations - and shaped his own language, which incorporates the history of the modern trumpet.

Eick has assembled a top flight band for 'The Door'. Pianist Jon Balke is in tremendous form, always finding something fresh to intonate, consistently surprising and imaginative both on acoustic piano and Fender Rhodes. Balke's ECM history goes back 30 years, and recent CDs with the Magnetic North Orchestra and his solo 'Book of Velocities' have been acclaimed. Drummer Audun Kleive also has deep ECM roots - with Terje Rypdal's 'Chasers', Charles Lloyd's touring quartet and with Marilyn Mazur. He works well with bassist Audun Erlien, known to ECM aficionados for Molvaer's 'Solid Ether'. Guest Stian Carstensen, previously on ECM playing accordion on Trygve Seim's 'Different Rivers', is one of very few jazz artists to explore the potential of the pedal steel guitar, and also has his own fan base, largely from his popular band Farmers Market.

Mathias Eick - (trumpet, guitar, vibraphone), Jon Balke - (piano, electric piano), Audun Kleive - (drums, percussion), Audun Erlien - (electric bass, guitar), Stian Carstensen - (pedal steel guitar)

Mathias Eick: trumpet, vibraphone, electric guitar, double-bass; Tore Brunborg: tenor saxophone; Andreas Ulvo: piano; Morten Qvenild: keyboards; Audun Erlien: electric bass; Torstein Lofthus: drums; Gard Nilssen: drums; Sidsel Walstad: harp

ECM 2187
CD 6025 274 3228 (1)
Release: (NO) February 2011 / (others) March 2011
LP 180g 6025 276 3107 (3)

Norwegian trumpeter Mathias Eick’s new album extends the concept and the panoramic sweep of his ECM debut “The Door” (recorded 2007). “It’s wider and bigger in all directions,” Eick says. “Skala” calls upon the services of more musicians – including, at times, two drummers - and there is more detail in the arrangements. What hasn’t changed is the emphasis on the lyrical soloist at the centre of the production. Eick’s elegant trumpet now has a larger space in which to sing

The entire release is available for download on the project home page.

Mathias Eick’s intensely melodic trumpet occupies the centre-stage in this album of self-penned tunes which will appeal to an audience beyond “jazz”. Against the powerful backdrops offered by his sleek, modern band, driven by two drummers, he delivers richly lyrical soliloquies.

Mathias Eick / trumpet
Andreas Ulvo / piano
Audun Erlien / electric bass
Torstein Lofthus / drums
Gard Nilssen / drums
Morten Qvenild / keyboards
Tore Brunborg / tenor saxophone
Sidsel Walstad / harp

Norwegian trumpeter Mathias Eick’s new album extends the concept and the panoramic sweep of his ECM debut “The Door” (recorded 2007). “It’s wider and bigger in all directions,” Eick says. “Skala” calls upon the services of more musicians – including, at times, two drummers - and there is more detail in the arrangements. What hasn’t changed is the emphasis on the lyrical soloist at the centre of the production. Eick’s elegant trumpet now has a larger space in which to sing.

“Skala” was crafted, Eick explains, like a pop production. Where most ECM discs are famously completed in three or four days, this project began with five weeks in Oslo’s Cabin Recorders Studio. At the outset, Mathias was mostly alone, sketching demos on a variety of instruments, then inviting players in as needed. The project moved on to Bugge Wesseltoft’s studio, vibraphone was added at Pooka Studio, and the album was completed at Rainbow Studio where it was mixed by Mathias, co-producer Manfred Eicher and engineer Jan Erik Kongshaug.

“Skala” pools new and older compositions, all written by Mathias, and inspired, he says, by music from classical to pop. The title tune is one that the trumpeter says has been following him “for many years”, its network of inspirations including Sting’s 1993 song “Shape of My Heart”. It is one of two pieces on the disc to incorporate the expressive saxophone of Tore Brunborg.

“Edinburgh” was written in the Scottish city, but draws inspiration from Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg and the plaintive cry of Jan Garbarek’s sax. “It’s not always easy to write pieces on the road. But around the time of ‘The Door’ we had a nice tour in Britain, with some very fine grand pianos, and sometimes I’d stay on stage after the gigs - with everyone around me packing instruments! - and try a few things. That was how this melody came up.”

Eick describes “June” as “a light and peaceful song, a reminiscence of summer days”. The piece incorporates the harp of classical player Sidsel Walstad, currently of the Norwegian Broadcasting Orchestra.

“Oslo”, the album’s most propulsive tune, is a “song of the city. It’s a groove-directed piece,” with Radiohead amongst its pop references. “Oslo” also “brings the idea of the two drummers into play. It sets them loose.” The piece also includes significant contributions from keyboardist Morten Qvenild, best known for his work with singer Susanna Wallumrød.

“Joni” is, of course, for Joni Mitchell, whose work Eick has long admired. A specific association here is “Both Sides Now” in the orchestral arrangement of Vince Mendoza. “I was really touched when I heard that. This piece of mine, ’Joni’, is also several years old. When I had the right musicians in place, like the strong band here, it seemed a good opportunity to look again at some older pieces and set them amongst the newer tunes, to shape an album.”

“Biermann” is named for the Oslo house that Eick rents, a place once owned by German merchant J. F. Biermann, back in the 19th century. “I guess you could call it an ‘hommage’ to my working space. I have a piano there and some basic recording equipment, and it’s a great place to get some work done when I’m in town.”

“The Day After” references the 1970s, and is influenced by sources as diverse as the Jarrett/Garbarek ‘Belonging’ collaboration and the pounding rock piano of Elton John. “The beat, though, is definitely retrospective – not much connection to jazz (laughter). In the end, it’s a pop groove.” Above it, Tore Brunborg and Mathias solo persuasively.

“Epilogue” develops “from the simple idea of softness meeting raw energy”, as Mathias’s tender trumpet soliloquy gives way to typhoon-strength drumming from Torstein Lofthus. “Tostein has a reputation as one of the best rock and roll, heavy metal and jazz drummers in Norway. He’s really one of the stars now, and I wanted to display what he can do…”

On several tracks, Lofthus is partnered with fellow drummer Gard Nilssen. Nilssen took drum lessons with Audun Kleive (drummer on “The Door”) from the age of seven, and has gone on to become a much-admired player, recently winning the Norwegian Jazz Championship with the band Puma. “He’s best known as a jazz and free jazz drummer in Norway, although he also plays in pop contexts,” says Mathias. Both drummers are in the new Eick quintet, a group completed by pianist Andreas Ulvo and bass guitarist Audun Erlien. Ulvo has worked extensively with singer Solveig Slettahjell and recorded several albums as leader of the Eple Trio and the Ulvo Ensemble. A melodically-gifted pianist, he is also a committed photographer (and took the portrait of Eick in the booklet of “Skala”). Audun Erlien, the only band-member retained from “The Door” has also deployed his pulsating bass in the context of Nils Petter Molvaer’s music.


Booking and management: Musikkprofil.no / pkrekdal@musikkprofil.no
+47 99253393

Upcoming concerts

19th 20:00 LantarenVenster, Rotterdam //
20th 20:00 STORM! Festival, Ostend (B) //
21st 20:00 NSJC, Amsterdam //
22nd 20:00 TivVre, Utrecht //

Past concerts

28th 20:30 Flekkefjord Jazzklubb, Norway //
21st 20:30 Cosmopolite Scene, Oslo, Norway  //
07th 19:30 Skien Jazzdraget, Norway //
01st 19:30 Tampere, Jazz happening, Tampere, Finland //
17th 19:00 Dølajazz, Lillehammer, Norway //
12th 19:00 Jazz på Jølster, Norway //
10th 19:00 Bergen Jazzforum, Norway //
04th 19:00 Jarasum jazzfestival , Korea //
03rd 19:00 Seoul, Korea //
25th 19:00 Stavanger Jazzforum , Stavanger, Norway //
05th 20:00 Park der Gärten // Mathias Eick Quintet
04th 20:00 Pumpwerk, Wilhelmshaveb // Mathias Eick Quintet
20th 20:00 Festspillene in North Norway, Harstad // Mathias Eick Quintet
18th 20:00 Midtsommerjazzfestival, Ålesund // Mathias Eick Quintet
04th 20:00 Ampere, Munich // Mathias Eick Quintet
03rd 20:00 Centralstation, Darmstadt // Mathias Eick Quintet
02nd 20:00 Stadtgarten, Köln // Mathias Eick Quintet
29th 20:00 Jazz Ahead, Bremen // Mathias Eick Quintet
16th 20:00 Voss Jazzfestival, Voss // Mathias Eick Quintet
22nd 20:00 Paradox Tilburg, (NL) // Mathias Eick Quintet
20th 20:00 Tromsø Jazzklubb, Tromsø // Mathias Eick Quintet
19th 20:00 Dokkhuset, Trondheim // Mathias Eick Quintet
18th 20:00 Sardinen, Bergen // Mathias Eick Quintet
17th 20:00 Stavanger Jazzforum, Stavanger // Mathias Eick Quintet
12th 20:00 Union Scene, Drammen // Mathias Eick Quintet
11th 20:00 Hadeland Jazzforum, Hadeland // Mathias Eick Quintet
07th 20:00 Arendal Jazzklubb, Arendal // Mathias Eick Quintet
06th 20:00 Nasjonal Jazzscene, Oslo // Mathias Eick Quintet

© Mathias Eick