e.s.t. Esbjorn Svensson Trio: Strange Place For Snow

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Modern Jazz / Pianistyka Jazzowa
premiera polska:
kontynent: Europa
kraj: Szwecja
opakowanie: plastikowe etui

Editor's Info:
They have been lauded as the "New sound in the Old World", and as "high voltage out of Sweden" the group has been called "possibly the best jazz trio in the world". The Esbjörn Svensson Trio's - known as EST - rise to the heights has been almost frightening.
Stars sometimes shine much longer than one would think. And here are recordings that demonstrate this is true for EST. The band, which was first formed in 1993, quickly found their very special sound. However, at first, no one outside EST's homeland was aware of them. Six years ago, in 1995, when Esbjörn Svensson still had long hair, and wore a headband, a record titled "Mr. And Mrs. Handkerchief", which consisted of live air shots from various towns in Sweden, was releasedThose who have heard how the trio played back then can attest that it was breathtaking music (for a quick listen: track 5).
Much of what characterizes EST's play today was already well-defined in 1995: the unity and riveting strength of the inter-play, the compelling themes - themes that immediately jump out at the listener, and yet are never burdened with cliches.

Swedish pianist Esbjorn Svensson is often compared to Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans for his spacious phrasing and moody harmonies. Like Evans, Svensson makes the intruments in his E.S.T. trio prime elements, not just support otherwise I don’t understand the Evans comparison. While the other comparison is more on the mark, Svensson has a better sense of groove than Jarrett, if not his advanced approach to harmony. (And, yes, he does sometimes share Jarrett’s penchant for unbridled groaning, though it’s not a distraction.)

I think Svensson’s secret is akin to the same skill Vince Guaraldi displayed on all those great songs for the Peanuts cartoons: the rare ability to convey memorable melodies with a hint of groove that don’t sound the least bit trite.

Like Brad Mehldau, Svensson is a pianist who grew up with rock and electronica and has accepted them into his influences, which also include jazz and classical music. All of those influences are on the smart and lovely Strange Place for Snow, E.S.T.’s follow-up to Somewhere Else Before, last year’s American anthology compiled from his European albums.

The classical chops come out on “When God Created the Coffeebreak,” which is formulated by a unison piano and bass ostinato that sounds like something Bach would write were he hopped up on caffeine. On the jazz side, “Spunky Sprawl” and “The Message” have more of a Guaraldi feel, and “Years of Yearning” and “Carcrash” are spacious ballads to get lost in.

The influence of rock and electronica, and more specifically Radiohead and Bjork, are evident throughout Strange Place for Snow. In fact, “Serenade for the Renegade” sounds as if it wants to be the intro to Bjork’s “Hyper-Ballad.” While Svensson’s trio is all acoustic, ambient electronic sounds are often overdubbed for subtle texture shifts. Though much less overt than on some Somewhere Else Before tracks, drummer Magnus Ostrom, who favors brushes over sticks, often interpolates the light and nervous stop-start rhythms of drum ‘n’ bass into his playing, and bassist Dan Berglund walks not once on the album, playing in the open-ended approach of Scott LaFaro.

E.S.T. stands for Esbjorn Svensson Trio, and it’s a subtle but benevolent nod by the pianist to his bandmates and their importance to his music. E.S.T. is a band in the truest sense.
by Christopher Porter
Classic acoustic jazz need not be a mirror image of our record collections. The Esbjörn Svensson Trio proves that the art form can sound as fresh and new as it was when Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, Marian McPartland, Oscar Peterson and Billy Taylor first began reaching out in new directions. Svensson, Dan Berglund and Magnus Öström swing with clarity of feeling and an intimate, soul-stirring attitude. Their compositions on this, the trio's 5th recording venture, remind us that jazz is about class and ethical elements of style. There are no gimmicks just eloquent music that casts a spell. The trio prefers to place their musical phrases one over the other, as if drifting on a gentle wind. They give smooth jazz its original meaning: creative energy that has been harnessed to ensure that its beauty remains the only focus of the session (unlike most of what rules the radio airwaves these days). Since "When God Created the Coffeebreak" and "Spunky Sprawl" contain more animation than the rest of the session, they tend to recall the innovative sound and spirit of the Modern Jazz Quartet

Esbjörn Svensson (Grand Piano, Keyboards, Percussion) Dan Berglund (Doublebass, Percussion) Magnus Öström (Drums, Percussion, Mohammed)

1 The Message
2 Serenade For The Renegade
3 Strange Place For Snow
4 Behind The Yashmak
5 Bound For The Beauty Of The South
6 Years Of Yearning
7 When God Created The Coffeebreak
8 Spunky Sprawl
9 Carcrash

wydano: 2002
nagrano: Recorded at Atlantis in December 2001, except track 1 recorded at Roam Studio in April 2001

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e.s.t. Esbjorn Svensson Trio
Strange Place For Snow
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