Isn't it the individuality that matters thinking of a sound? It's a beyondness, way out there over virtuosity because cast your net wide and virtuosity is everywhere. To find it is like shooting fish in a barrel. Within individuality on top, thinner on the ground, distinct from personality and yet building on these coveted qualities, it's in the timbre, in the tone, in the headspace, in the sanctity of the vision and the way that sound alone in the universe can penetrate the soul amid time and silence. That's what is inescapable listening to 'Begging' by the Norwegian trumpeter Mathias Eick.
'Begging' is the latest taste of When We Leave released in a fortnight. Hearing Eick live at a festival called Nattjazz in the Norwegian city of Bergen in 2010 certainly was a revelation. But his masterwork had arrived earlier. That was The Door. Enter in and you will be a dweller on the threshold enchanted. 'Begging' is part of that continuum no matter the different circumstances, setting, arrangement of mood and players. Great artists play the same song, their song, all their lives.
Pianist Andreas Ulvo stole the show somewhat on the first of the pre-release tracks 'Caring' which is also beautiful and is here on 'Begging' after the initial note then begins, alone, on this heart-wrenching ballad to frame the piece. But this is more an Eick feature, and his own composition, the quasi-vocalised overtone colouring the sound as the swivelling nature of Håkon Aase beneath him roils across his violin strings and clings on for sanctuary. Ulvo leads Eick through the hypnotic hymnal nature of the piece like a mountain guide ever on to hitherto unconquerable heights.