One of the pleasures of Mathias Eick’s ‘Midwest’ album was hearing his vaulting trumpet supported by violin, an instrumental combination further developed on ‘Ravensburg’.
The new violinist in Eick’s ensemble is Hakon Aase, one of the up-and-coming players of the new Norwegian scene, whom attentive ECM listeners will already know from his work with Thomas Stronen’s group. The core Eick road band is further shored up by the addition of Helge Andreas Norbakken, who interacts excitingly with fellow drummer Torstein Lofthus. Eick is in great form as a writer on this showing, deploying driving rhythm at the bottom end of his music and soaring melody at the top in this series of pieces which add up to a kind of collective family portrait, touching upon “all the emotional situations we experience on the stage where we mostly hang around. That is: home.” Embodied in the music, with its strongly melodic themes and improvisational exchanges, are ideas of relationships, dialogues, longings, games - and journeys.
- For My Grandmothers