Mathias Eick – Midwest (2015)

Artist: Mathias Eick
Title Of Album: Midwest
Year Of Release: 2015
Label: ECM
Genre: Jazz
Quality: 320 Kbps
Total Time: 42:19 min
Total Size: 101 MB

1. Midwest 5:13
2. Hem 5:17
3. March 5:56
4. At Sea 4:06
5. Dakota 4:58
6. Lost 5:46
7. Fargo 6:23
8. November 5:02

Mathias Eick reflects on distances travelled in this intensely melodic set of original compositions, which makes an imaginative journey from Hem, the tiny Norwegian village where the trumpeter grew up, to the vast plains of Dakota in the American Midwest.
It was to the Midwest that hundreds of thousands of Norwegians travelled by sea in the 19th and early 20th centuries – and naturally they took their music with them. In similar spirit Eick, a Norwegian improviser-composer strongly influenced by North American jazz, here reintegrates some of the colours and textures of his native folk music in these newly-created pieces.

In the frontline of the line-up featured here he is partnered by the brilliant violinist Gjermund Larsen, whose roots are in the Norwegian folk tradition. Trumpet and violin exchange lines and soar together above a brilliant rhythm section with Jon Balke at his most lyrical, Helge Norbakken periodically finding pulses that can suggest tribal drumming or buffalo hooves, and the resourceful Mats Eilertsen helping to drive the music forward.

The original inspiration for the album was sparked by a gruelling North American tour: «I’d been out on the road for a long time and was feeling homesick. Then we reached the area called the Midwest and I suddenly felt as if I was home. I had a sense of why the early settlers would want to build their farms there. It reminded me very much of parts of Norway.»

‘Midwest’ was recorded at Oslo’s Rainbow Studio and produced by Manfred Eicher. It is Mathias Eick’s third ECM album as a leader, following on from ‘The Door’ (recorded 2007), and ‘Skala’ (recorded 2009-2010). Mathias can also be heard on recordings by guitarist Jacob Young, by pianist-harpist Iro Haarla, and on drummer Manu Katché’s ‘Playground’.

Personnel: Mathias Eick (trumpet), Gjermund Larsen (violin), Jon Balke (piano), Mats Eilertsen (double bass), Helge Norbakken (percussion)

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