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Mathias Eick: The Door

Scandinavian jazz can be a tricky proposition for American ears. It often feels spacious and airy, but that’s some thin ice to walk: Those very qualities can lead to just plain boring. No such worries for Norwegian trumpeter Mathias Eick, whose debut album, The Door, is an achievement. He’s a little bit Tomasz Stanko, a little bit Nils Petter Molvaer, and a good deal of himself. His tone is plaintive and spare; like all good bandleaders, his focus is on the interaction of his musicians, who include pianist Jon Balke, drummer Audun Kleive, electric bassist Audun Erlien and pedal-steel guitarist Stian Carstensen.

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