SPIRIT SESSIONS: Mathias Heise Quadrillion

Letting the waves of raw musicianship wash over us as we kick out another Spirit Session – this time with the four-piece Danish fusion band Mathias Heise Quadrillion.

Published: May 7, 2018
Photographs: Frederik Engell-Trampe
Artist Link: www.mathiasheiseq.com

Iam always pleasantly surprised when I stumble into a music genre that I know nothing about and get the shoes knocked right off of me. I will be the first to admit that I know fuck all about Jazz. Short of a few short months in my early 20’s where I pepped my playlists with Thelonious Monk because I thought it would score me some points with a girl I was sweet on, I could consider myself a Jazz virgin.

In saying that, I was a bit nervous when the Spirit Session ticket got booked with the Danish fusion jazz band Mathias Heise Quadrillion. Not for there lack of talent – for that was readily apparent in anything recorded that you can find online – it was more for my complete ignorance of the genre.

Those doubts were quickly put aside, though, as the boys set up their gear and started to run through the numbers they were going to play. At the moment they went through their first run-through of ‘Damn Good Coffee,’ it I became reminded that an intrinsic understanding of music runs through all of us. Yes, I lacked the references to dig through Mathias Heise’s music on a deeper level, but the live experience was just a wash of pleasant tones and rhythms.

It became apparent quickly that the level of music skill that these four men have was far beyond what I was normally accustomed to interacting with. The structures on of the songs are built on a solid foundation, but how each of the musicians approached their parts shifted each time they played. Even though I understood that the level of the structure behind their songwriting almost reaches the level of being pedantic, the live experience comes across and four extremely talented musicians simply jamming and feeding off each other’s flow.

While my deeper understanding of Jazz more or less hasn’t expanded since experiencing the Mathias Heise Quadrillion, I can say that my body’s visceral response to musicianship of this magnitude was something I truly enjoyed and will remember.