on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2021 23 Sep

Another motion picture of no dialogue

von: Manafonistas Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off

If you look at the tracklisting of „When We Leave“, you’ll notice that the songs have only one-word titles. Norwegian trumpeter Mathias Eick likes to let the music speak for itself, and the titles are simply there to provide a small basis for what the music elaborates on.


(A review remix is a rare thing. How does it work? You take a review and change it. Extend it. Cut it shorter. Add your own perspective. Make it a dialogue. Strengthen it. Don‘t earn money with it to prevent copyright issues. In fact, this is quite an interesting approach to album reviews. This remix is more on the ornamental side, but there could be texts that only take single phrases and add a very different rating. I’ve done it years ago with a thumbs down-review of a Bill Callahan album who delivered a dub version of one of his song albums. The reviewer didn‘t like it. But I did.)


Consider the fact that this is a completely instrumental jazz album, one that relies on imagery and delicate little touches to get its point across. Are you looking for a bombastic jazz record that’s showy and grand? You’re not going to get that here. These are quiet, meditative, hypnotic pieces of smooth jazz (smooth in an adventurous way) that benefit from turning small shifts in tone into a cinematic picture you can get lost in. It fills us in on certain details, while leaving enough to the imagination for us to keep returning to speculate on its mysteries.


(Only few changes in this text. For example: „(smooth in an adventurous way)“. Though the original writer, Brendan, has never reviewed this Mathias Eick album, it makes sense to credit the text to him. How come?)


What’s amazing about „When We Leave“ is that, while it does seem very personal to Mathias Eick himself, the way he portrays this material can just as easily apply to many of our personal experiences we’ve had growing up. Presenting it as a soft, understated jazz record with many intricate details is just as brilliant, as you can dive right back in to hear whatever small touches you missed the first time around. And it’s not like being soft doesn’t make it engaging either. It isn’t super flashy – the beautiful sense of instrumental storytelling is what makes it so engaging. This is a man who’s able to tell a story without even telling the story. The album is out tomorrow. On ECM.


(The whole review stays artfully vague. With some decent observations. In fact, it is Brendan‘s review of the penultimate album from the Norwegian Trumpet player, „Ravensburg“ that has been remixed here. Easy. The same band. Even another album with titles with one word only. The same musical spirit. Just a few updates, like the release date. The band‘s alchemy is rich enough to follow its own footsteps. To reward conscious listening. End of my breakfast notes from Romantik Hotel Rindenmühle.)

Brendan Schroer (remixed by Michael Engelbrecht)


Mathias Eick: trumpet, keyboard, vocals
Hakon Aase: violin, percussion
Andreas Ulvo: piano
Audun Erlien: bass
Torstein Lofthus: drums
Helge Andreas Norbakken: drums, percussion
Stian Carstensen: pedal steel guitar


P.S. Michael‘s Black Forest Playlist: „Nancy and Lee“ / „When We Leave“ / „Winter Tales“  / „After The Goldrush“ / „The Waterfalls of Triberg“ (live) / ToiToiToi: Vaganten (the origins of this album lie deep in the Black Forest) / Angelo Badalamenti: Twin Peaks (die Obstwiese des Romantik Hotels. Der Wald dahinter. Die Wasserfälle von Triberg. Mehr als ein Hauch Twin Peaks.)

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