Mathias Eick Quintet
Trail Of Souls feat. Solveig Slettahjell / Knut Reiersrud / In The Country
The partner country of jazzahead! 2019 is Norway, a country where an astonishing variety of creative and distinctive forms of jazz have developed and flourished in the past 50 years. So Norway is also the focus of this year’s Gala Concert.
Mathias Eick is a truly protean talent who has never confined himself to just one style. His involvement in the progressive Norwegian jazz scene dates back over more than 20 years. He was already playing in Jaga Jazzist at the age of 15 and was a member of it for almost 20 years, the period during which the band rose to cult status. In 2008 Eick made his debut album in his own name, “The Door” for the renowned Munich label ECM. With his latest CD for the label, “Ravensburg”, Mathias Eick pays homage both to his German grandmother and to the city in Southern Germany, renowned as home to the manufacturer of board games and puzzles Ravensburger. Eick himself is on superb form here as a composer: in the depths of his music he lets compelling rhythms develop, while also allowing the listener to savour incredible melodic depth and sensitivity.
The singer Solveig Slettahjell, a student of Sidsel Endresen, comes from the jazz avant-garde and possesses a completely beguiling voice. The trio In The Country comes from the electronica scene, and guitarist Knut Reiersrud brings his experience of his decades on the road as a bluesman. They joined forces for “Trails Of Souls”, where ancient Norwegian rural hymns are combined with American blues and spirituals in a unique way. The result is music which initially strikes the listener as being familiar in an American way – but is then transformed into a quite magical Scandinavian experience.
Line-Up: Mathias Eick Quintet: Mathias Eick (tpt), Torstein Lofthus (dr), Espen Berg (p), Audun Erlien (b), Håkon Aase (vln)
Trail of Souls: Solveig Slettahjell (voc), Knut Reiersrud (g), Morten Qvenild (p), Roger Arntzen (b), Pål Hausken (dr)