Mats Eilertsen : Rubicon


96kHz/24-bit, FLAC, ECM 477 4315 (supplied by

There’s obviously something of a blooming of Nordic double-bass player/composers with solo albums at the moment, for here we have Norwegian ‘big fiddle’ virtuoso Mats Eilertsen with a scintillating set of self-composed pieces originally part of a collection commissioned for the 2014 Vossa Jazz Festival, and evolved on the road to create this ensemble album played by a septet. And you can tell the musicians have been working closely to develop the recordings here, so well do they connect in an expressive mélange of brass and woodwind, pianos both acoustic and electric, some superb guitar-work by long-time Eilertsen collaborator Thomas T Dahl, and of course the composer’s own bass. The music is understated, mesmeric and consistently captivating, and – despite our reservations in the lab panel below – instruments still sound crisp, clear and natural. AE

Sound Quality: 90%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

While this is certainly a 96kHz rendering and one that avoids peak-level overload, spectral analysis reveals a clump of (digital?) spuriae around 30kHz [see graph]. We’ve seen similar ultrasonic patterns from other ECM recordings. PM