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Eick, Mathias: Midwest

Norwegian trumpet player Mathias Eick's new album Midwest is another fabulous ECM release. The title and theme of the album was inspired by Eick's tour of the American Midwest where at times he was reminded of his native Norway. The journey begins in Hem and from there it's off to America. Rounding out the quintet are Gjermund Larsen (violin), Jon Balke (piano), Mats Eilertsen (double bass) and Helge Norbakken (percussion).

Midwest is a contemporary jazz album with wonderful melodic sensibilities and exceptional musicianship. The overall pace is slow and the songs fit nicely together and have a great flow. The disc opens with the title track, a wonderfully poignant melody with a hint of Scandinavian melancholy. As the song progresses the drumming gets more complex with tasty fills and nice cymbal work. When Larsen gets going on the violin he brings an Americana element but still retains the song's overall touch of sadness. Eilertsen's bass solo is another album highlight. The next track is "Hem", where the tone is a little more uplifting and there is plenty of room for Balke's supple piano lines and another excellent bass solo from Eilertsen. "March" starts with lovely piano and Eick's subtle trumpet notes, as light as a feather trying to break through. The tone eventually becomes darker with slightly discordant piano and trumpet until the luscious melody returns with Eick's trumpet leading the way. "Dakota" features tasty trumpet and a melodic repeating piano motif while the slow moving "November" closes out the disc in style with a pretty melody and soaring trumpet lines.

Sure Midwest is a little sad, but that's what makes this such a heartfelt journey. It's another triumph for ECM and an album I wholeheartedly recommend.

Track Listing:
1. Midwest (5:11)
2. Hem (5:14)
3. March (5:53)
4. At Sea (4:03)
5. Dakota (4:55)
6. Lost (5:43)
7. Fargo (6:18)
8. November (5:02)

Added: July 25th 2015
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1263
Language: english

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