Mathias Eick: The Door (ECM/Ode)

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Matthias Eick: Porvoo
Mathias Eick: The Door (ECM/Ode)

On a blindfold test I doubt many who listen to Norwegian prog-rockers Jaga Jazzist would pick the trumpter leading this ECM set as the same guy from that big band.

But Eick has popped up in many shapes:he has played alongside Chick Corea and in jazz orchestras, was a guest in the psychedelic rock band Motorpsycho and is a dab hand on guitar and vibes as well as trumpet.

Here he pulls together a small group for a refined debut under his own name (name player in the ranks is keyboardist Jon Balke although drummer Audun Klieve has been in Charles Lloyd's touring band) and proves himself a fine addition to the ECM roster.

There is a caution to his playing sometimes and you suspect that having proved himself capable in more fiery ensembles he is here aiming for a more considered approach. It works best in the elegantly lean ballads, but often your attention is taken by Balke who, as a seasoned ECM player, sound utterly at home in this context.

This one will hold more appeal for those comfortable with ECM's less austere output than Jaga Jazzist aficionados. (And Motorpsycho people shouldn't venture close.)

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