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Mats Eilertsen: And Then Comes the Night (ECM)

A review of the Norwegian bassist's second album on ECM as a leader

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And Then Comes the Night by Mats Eilertsen
The cover of And Then Comes the Night by Mats Eilertsen

This is just a lovely album. Bassist Mats Eilertsen has had his trio with pianist Harmen Fraanje and drummer Thomas Strønen for a decade, but And Then Comes the Night is only the group’s second release and its first for ECM. It’s also Eilertsen’s second album as a leader for that label, though the Norwegian bassist has played on several ECM records, most notably as part of Tord Gustavsen’s superb quartet.

The piano trio format seems to get more and more sophisticated, and this disc is another evolution. Classically inspired, it unfolds like a dream, light and airy, the musicians creating textures more than playing songs. Nobody solos. They barely state themes. They patiently listen to one another, adding to the conversation with spare plucks, gently brushed cymbals, and barely touched keys. The songs are slow, moody, and soothing, but mostly they convey optimism rather than despair.

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