Mathias Eick - Skala (2011) [Official Digital Download 24/96]

Posted By: HDV
Mathias Eick - Skala (2011) [Official Digital Download 24/96]

Mathias Eick - Skala (2011)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time - 41:42 minutes | 784 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Digital booklet

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.

Those who've caught Mathias Eick live, since the release of The Door (ECM, 2008), know that, as strong a first salvo as that debut was, it was no preparation for the power of the Norwegian trumpeter in performance. When his quartet performed at Mai Jazz 2008, with pianist Andreas Ulvo replacing The Door's Jon Balke, it was patently clear that Eick was looking to bridge his intrinsically melodic concerns with the youthful energy of groups like Jaga Jazzist, with whom he's been performing since inception. The Door surely was one of 2008's best releases, but Skala trumps it by marrying its lyrical bent with a fierier delivery that, while not quite as hard-edged as performances like Natt Jazz 2010, comes much closer to realizing what Eick appears to have been hearing all along.

That Eick is credited as co-producer, for a second time, is demonstrative of ECM label head/producer Manfred Eicher's rare confidence in sharing that critical role. As a member of guitarist Jacob Young's sublime quintet on Evening Falls (2004), and Finnish pianist/harpist Iro Haarla's quintet on Northbound (2005) and the equally stunning Vespers (2011), Eick's distinctive, Kenny Wheeler- esque thematic sensibility, coupled with a painstaking attention to timbre, has made him someone to watch. In the context of his own work, he continues to favor substance over style, and while the music of Skala is even more structured than that on The Door, when Eick does solo, it's with an economical precision that weaves through grooves and changes with equal aplomb.

A more ambitious follow-up, Skala features, at its core, Eick's double-drum quintet, though the trumpeter doesn't shy away from reconfiguring his group as the music demands. "June" is largely a duo feature for Eick and Ulvo—who, unlike live performance, stays with grand piano throughout the album—until Sidsel Walstad's harp enters to expand the soundscape of this elegant, poignant song. In The Country's Morten Qvenild guests on the gently grooving title track (also featuring the equally note-conscious Tore Brunborg on one of two tenor sax spots), and the episodic "Oslo"—where Eick's looping creates a soft, Frippertronics-like intro, but soon leads to a fiery, riff-driven pulse from Ulvo and bassist Audun Erlien, driven by Gard Nilssen and Torstein Lofthus' powerhouse drumming, It's no surprise that the compositional detail resembles Jaga Jazzist, but Eick's music is less dense, though his vibes on the arpeggio-driven "Joni" and the propulsive "Epilogue"—where he also plays double-bass, in a virtual quintet with just Ulvo and Lofthus—does reference JJ's percussive-driven sound.

The Door was intentionally an acoustic record; despite Balke's Rhodes and Erlien's electric bass, Eick avoided the use of effects on his horn, and overdubbing was minimal. Here, however, Eick's tasteful use of looping and pitch shifting expands his own palette, and a stronger reliance on simple backbeats on tunes like the balladic "Biermann" and the four-on-the-floor of "Day After" make Skala a more accurate representation Eick's position and direction. A quantum leap, Skala's combination of melody-driven material and effortlessly tasteful contributions from a larger cast of characters confidently delivers on the promises made by The Door's compelling statement of intent.

Tracklist:

01 - Skala
02 - Edinburgh
03 - June
04 - Oslo
05 - Joni
06 - Biermann
07 - Day After
08 - Epilogue

Produced by Mathias Eick & Manfred Eicher. Engineered by Even Enersen Ormestad & Audun Ofstad Borrmann.
Recorded in December 2009 and January 2010 at Cabin Recorders, Bugges Room and Pooka Studio, Oslo, Norway.
Additional recordings at Cabin Recorders by Audun Ofstad Borrmann.
Mixed in May 2010 at Rainbow Studio by Jan Erik Kongshaug (engineer), Manfred Eicher and Mathias Eick.

Musicians:
Mathias Eick - trumpet, vibraphone on "5,8", guitar on "6", bass on "8"
Tore Brunborg - tenor saxophone on "1,7"
Andreas Ulvo - piano
Morten Qvenild - keyboards on "1,4,5"
Sidsel Walstad - harp on "3"
Audun Erlien - electric bass on "1,2,4-7"
Torstein Lofthus - drums on "1,2,4-8"
Gard Nilssen - drums 0n "1,2,4,6"

Analyzed: Mathias Eick / Skala
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR15 -0.01 dB -18.88 dB 6:17 01-Skala
DR14 -0.41 dB -16.97 dB 5:11 02-Edinburgh
DR12 -4.72 dB -20.70 dB 4:19 03-June
DR14 0.00 dB -16.73 dB 5:31 04-Oslo
DR13 0.00 dB -15.08 dB 5:57 05-Joni
DR14 -0.20 dB -18.81 dB 6:11 06-Biermann
DR16 -0.05 dB -17.97 dB 4:55 07-Day After
DR14 -0.08 dB -18.27 dB 3:21 08-Epilogue
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 8
Official DR value: DR14

Samplerate: 96000 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 24
Bitrate: 2488 kbps
Codec: FLAC
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