Thursday , 22 June 2017
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Mats Eilertsen Skydive live at Bray Jazz Festival 2013
Photography by John Cronin

Mats Eilertsen Skydive live at Bray Jazz Festival 2013

Mats Eilertsen is one of the finest and most distinct bass players on the Norwegian jazz scene of today.

A quietly authoritative bassist who has, in the past decade been gaining considerable traction,  Eilertsen was a co-founding member of the cooperative group The Source,  which produced a number of albums on Germany’s legendary ECM label, a charter member of the Anglo-Norwegian improvising collective Food, and a partipant on the ECM recordings of guitarist Jacob Young,  pianist Wolfert Brederode, and piano star Tord Gustavsen, in whose band he also currently plays.

His sensitive playing, open mind and expansive technique have made him bassist of choice for an increasing number of musicians, spanning the broadest spectrum of jazz and beyond.

‘Skydive’ is a project that epitomises the ‘Nordic tone’ in contemporary jazz.  A project with saxophonist Tore Brunborg, guitarist Thomas Dahl, drummer Olavi Louhivuori and the young Finnish pianist Alexi Tuomarila, Skydive provides yet another pointer to the good health of comtemporary Norwegian jazz.

Eilertsen’s group characterise a highly effevescent Norwegian scene with its powerful interior drive in search of a personal style.  Slowly curling unison sax and guitar lines coax dreamily sauntering ballads; low-register Garbarek-like hoots drift over padding drums and distantly clanging guitar chords interplay with ghostly bowed-bass motifs.

It is a repertoire that also has echoes of the folk-jazz of Avishai Cohen in the interplay of piano and bass over dantily dancing themes.  

Skydive is at once poignant, atmospheric and moody,  the music floating as effortless as clouds through the night sky.  

 

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