REVIEW: Mathias Heise Quadrillion: Decadence album launch at the Spice of Life

Mathias Heise Quadrillion
Photo credit: Paul Pace

Mathias Heise Quadrillion
(Decadence album launch, 6 July 2017, Spice of Life. Review by Rob Mallows)

Canny investors looking for a hot tip on the jazz stock market should consider purchasing shares in the Mathias Heise Quadrillion (ticker symbol MHQ).

Based on the brio shown in this hour-long album launch in central London and the positive audience response, a strong musical return is likely.

Showcasing their sophomore release Decadence, Denmark’s MHQ – Mathias Heise on keyboards and chromatic harmonica; Mads Christiansen on guitar; David Vang on bass and Aksel Stadel Borum on drums – demonstrated why this band is ripe for solid musical growth over the next few years in a crowded market place of ‘next big things’.

Recent responses to MHQ have been positive, judging by the great vibe created by their recent scene-stealing jazzahead! performance. Band leader Mathias Heise has a clear vision for the group and a solid musical strategy based on groove, showmanship and a radical push against the prevailing tendency in their domestic jazz market towards reflective, acoustic ‘Nordic’ jazz.

Heise and co. demonstrated with their whip-crack group playing and high energy mix of funk, fusion, rock and jazz – what they’re calling FuRoJazz – that they can reach a broad  base of jazz consumers. Fresh-faced and with boundless energy, and appealing to the young crossover crowd as well as hardcore jazz-fusion fans, MHQ have the feel of a group destined for bigger stages across Europe in coming years.

The band’s groove-to-fusion ratio is high (they even threw in a disco-themed number). Their overall sound brings to mind Mezzoforte after a course of steroids crossed with Weather Report and Brand X.

Exuberant throughout, MHQ demonstrated their offering well across six tracks: smooth, contemplative jazz on Damn Good Coffee, technical fireworks and genre-stretching on title track Decadence, and letting the creative and rhythmic juices flow on Man Vs. Nature.

The band may need to hone a more distinct overall brand to make the leap into the musical big league, but the fundamentals seem strong: good musicianship, a focus on entertainment, and a rich mix of original compositions. Buy.

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