Mathias Eick (born 1979) has taken the pensive lyricism and melancholy of his trumpet heroes – including Kenny Wheeler, Chet Baker and Miles Davis – and transformed the influence into something personal. His trumpet sings with great clarity and his solos, like his themes, are melodically memorable.
“The Door”, Mathias’s ECM debut of 2008, was amongst the best-selling jazz albums of that year. In its first week of release it shot into the Norwegian pop charts, and topped jazz best-seller lists across Europe.
Recorded in December 2009 and January 2010 in Oslo, this powerful album features an expanded Eick band with highly-regarded saxophonist Tore Brunborg (latterly playing with the groups of Tord Gustavsen and Ketil Bjørnstad) guesting on the title track. Other guests include classical harpist Sidsel Walstad of the Norwegian Broadcasting Orchestra, and jazz keyboardist
Morten Qvenild (known internationally for his work with Jaga Jazzist and Susanna Wallumrød).
On several tracks, Torstein 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. 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. 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.