neveronfriday

Tord Gustavsen Trio: "The Ground"

25 posts in this topic

This one I've been waiting for patiently, especially since I thought - despite the rave reviews - that the latest E.S.T. album was disappointing.

Tord Gustavsen Trio. The Ground. ECM 2005.

three sound samples (.wav around 1MB each): here (select sound samples on the left, bottom three on the page)

I had the chance to hear the full album today (it is available in some countries but won't be in most others until end February ... around the 31st) and am pleasantly surprised by it. If you liked the first one, you can't go wrong with this one.

Oddly enough, the criticism I would level at the above-mentioned new E.S.T. disc (been there, done that ... and heard it often enough now, including the end-of-CD-gimmick of one far-out track) is a positive here. As quiet as the last album, melodically crafty, with that Scandinavian lyrical quality I admire so much in a very few bands that can actually do something with it instead of coyping it from others. This will once again be a permanent in this household.

Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll second that,lovely set...the first album was a treat but they've settled in a bit more here...and whilst I wouldn't suggest that this is a "busy" group,there's more interplay than on the debut.Vespestad knocks me out-this is a very long way from Supersilent-and he sounds right at home.Some may find this album spare to say the least,but the themes all sound strangely familiar and stick in the mind.If you like the concept of nordic piano trios then look no further.

I haven't hear them backing Silje Nergaard,anybody have any opinions?

I'll concur with the new EST verdict,the albums are now becoming formulaic,I'd like to hear them strip away the effects a bit more.The freshness present on the Monk tribute,Winter In Venice and Gagarin... has led to some stale fare on this and the last couple.Heard one ,heard 'em all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't hear them backing Silje Nergaard,anybody have any opinions?

I've heard most of it, have it and have seen it live (she plays once a year, if possible, at a jazz club I'm a member of and get free tickets for) and although her stuff is ok, I'm not a fan of her voice.

She's got a bit of that Lolita thing (that sort of innocent girlish voice) going (which, at least in Europe, is a somewhat formulaic thing in itself ... we have some new German singer from up north, can't remember her name right now, who rode right into the hearts of the usual crowd with that style), but the Gustavsen trio does excellent backing work. It's just not worth getting for that alone - it just shows how well they are able to blend in.

BTW: If I recall correctly, Germans can see her on TV tonight (Jazzline on WDR at 23:50.) I'm too lazy to check if the Gustavsen Trio is in fact backing her. Will have a quick look later.

Cheers!

Edited by deus62

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This one I've been waiting for patiently, especially since I thought - despite the rave reviews - that the latest E.S.T. album was disappointing.

Tord Gustavsen Trio. The Ground. ECM 2005.

three sound samples (.wav around 1MB each): here (select sound samples on the left, bottom three on the page)

I had the chance to hear the full album today (it is available in some countries but won't be in most others until end February ... around the 31st) and am pleasantly surprised by it. If you liked the first one, you can't go wrong with this one.

Oddly enough, the criticism I would level at the above-mentioned new E.S.T. disc (been there, done that ... and heard it often enough now, including the end-of-CD-gimmick of one far-out track) is a positive here. As quiet as the last album, melodically crafty, with that Scandinavian lyrical quality I admire so much in a very few bands that can actually do something with it instead of coyping it from others. This will once again be a permanent in this household.

Cheers!

Still trying to buy this album, their last was an intimate and very well produced album.

I wonder what there status is in the bigger picture that is Nowegian Jazz?

Che.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder what there status is in the bigger picture that is Nowegian Jazz?

Che.

Read last week that they were number 4 in the Norwegian "pop" charts...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard this, and I note that groups like EST are big is Sweden with thier albums riding high in the chatrs

Seems to me that the people of Scandanavia really appreciate their jazz very much!

Che.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Ground topped the pop charts for one week, with - according to Tord - marketing costs (in Norway) of NOK 700 (USD 100). The reason - at least partly - is that quite a few of the major stores push Gustavsen's new CD - even in my small home town of 25 000 people one guy in our local record store sold 14 copies the first Saturday it was out.

His first CD sold 40 000 world wide, not bad for an instrumental jazz CD, and now that he's kind of made a name for himself I would'nt be surpsided if this one exceeds that.

Of course the music is very accessible, and it might - as have been mentioned - have kind of a nordic mood - but the chords and voicings are very blues and gospel influenced.

Edited by pepe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Ground topped the pop charts for one week, with - according to Tord - marketing costs (in Norway) of NOK 700 (USD 100). The reason - at least partly - is that quite a few of the major stores push Gustavsen's new CD - even in my small home town of 25 000 people one guy in our local record store sold 14 copies the first Saturday it was out.

His first CD sold 40 000 world wide, not bad for an instrumental jazz CD, and now that he's kind of made a name for himself I would'nt be surpsided if this one exceeds that.

Of course the music is very accessible, and it might - as have been mentioned - have kind of a nordic mood - but the chords and voicings are very blues and gospel influenced.

The last album, as you suggested, was well recieved all over Europe and I agree the music was accessible. I thought it was very good, a little to intimate for my tastes but worth listening to.

Che.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you know if the groups have plans to tour with this album, in particular the UK?

Che.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The Ground" will be available in the US on March 29th.

Well I tried to order it from a well know outlet in London, and it had sold out and they are ordering some more copies.

Seems that it may be more successful than the last album.

Che.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I LOVED the first album, "Changing Places." My favorite jazz CD of 2003. I'm looking forward to the new one. I would like to see them live. The Tord Gustavsen Tiro reminds me of the Keith Jarrett Trio. Only allot more condensed and melodic with much less improvisation.

Edited by Jazzdude

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I first encountered this dude's name I thought it was "Todd".

I listened to a few tracks from this CD today @ Tower Records. Wasn't spurred to buy it, but if you like this sort of thing -- a melodic piano trio with a slightly funky touch and the spacious ECM sound -- then you will probably like it a lot.

Guy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just saw the trio with SILJE NERGAARD at a local festival.

The singer was OK (have seen her many times and have my problems with her program and dircection in general), but the trio was fabulous (supplemented by a guitar player who fit in really well). Lots of slower numbers including some fascinating Norwegian material which I knew from having spent altogether about two years up there. The most fascinating number was the last one, a popular lullaby which Nergaard and Gustavsen performed alone. Very lyrical and perfect harmony.

Gustavsen was allowed quite a bit of "stretching" time and it was he who got the most thunderous applause whenever he decided to really let things take off (usually for 5 minutes and more plus a long trio solo number in the middle) - his solos are a real tour de force, developing from single quiet notes into explosive outbursts (at times he looked like he was going to crawl into the grand). Very impressive.

Because I saw him in the same place just about one year ago, Esbjörn Svensson and Gustavsen do have quite a few things in common when it comes around to developing longer solos (Gustavsen usually sans electronics, although he did have a Rhodes along which he played on two of the funkier numbers).

Now I just have to catch the trio solo. They're a lot more dynamic group live, which their CDs at times only hint at.

Edit: Forgot to mention that Jarle Vespestad (drums) was not along and that the new one (only for Nergaards band or also for the trio?) did NOT compare!

Edited by neveronfriday

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I´m going to see the Tord Gustavsen Trio next week.

Apart from "The ground", any more recommendations?

Edited by EKE BBB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doug Ramsey had some flattering words to say about The Ground last week at his Rifftides blog, so I added it to my queue at Your Music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I´m going to see the Tord Gustavsen Trio next week.

Apart from "The ground", any more recommendations?

His previous release on ECM "Changing places" is also a pleasure!

:tup

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I´m going to see the Tord Gustavsen Trio next week.

Apart from "The ground", any more recommendations?

His previous release on ECM "Changing places" is also a pleasure!

:tup

... some reviews from the ECM site:

Jazz Review, Editor's Choice

Gustavsen is a master of pianistic control and restraint, and he is at least matched by bassist Harald Johnsen, whose double bass indeed "walks", but with the intricate complexity of a daddy-long-legs; and by drummer Jarle Vespestad, whose subtle resectionings of time are, as often as not, played with his bare hands. Both have extensive backgrounds in avant-garde jazz, rock, and other experimental musics, but you'd never know that from their playing here. All three play like virtuosos who have not the slightest interest in showcasing their chops. There are one or two solos, but good as these are, they're the least interesting parts of the album. This is the least grandstanding great jazz album I have heard since Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.The sound is ECM's usual feast of tonal richness and round-toned intimacy, with miking and mixing that place the listener less inside the band than inside their hearts. But this music would sound great on a scratchy 78. ... With his first record as a leader, Tord Gustavsen has created an instant classic.

Richard Lehnert, Stereophile

Changing Places is an unusual achievement ... Technical display is at a premium, and the compositions, all by the leader, are beguiling simple and intensely melodic. Gustavsen avoids flourishes of emotion, and while it's brave to begin an album at the funereal pace of "Deep As Love", it's braver still to continue that way. But this is a tempo which allows real improvisation, as Lee Konitz would put it. "At A Glance" is unusual here in following the customary arch pattern of increased intensity dying away at the end; "IGN" is mid-uptempo, but all other tracks are slow or slow-medium. "Turning Point" in particular is hauntingly beautiful. Bassist Harald Johnsen and drummer Jarle Vespestad, who's worked with Norwegian electro-improv band Supersilent and with Farmer's Market, also help to keep things simple - Vespestad in particular is astonishingly restrained. Changing Places is a distinctive achievement and marks the emergence of a potentially major talent.

Andy Hamilton, Jazz Review

Manche seiner Stücke hätten auch französische Chansons oder raffinierte Blues-Balladen werden können - wenn sie Texte hätten. So einprägsam ist Jazz sonst so gut wie nie, noch dazu in dieser Besetzung. Die puristischste aller Kombinationen hat der Norweger Tord Gustavsen gewählt - Klavier, Bass und Schlagzeug - und damit jetzt eine CD vorgelegt, die beste Chancen hat, ein Hit weit übers Fachpublikum hinaus zu werden. Jazz-kammermusikalischer Ohrenbalsam höchster Güte sind Gustavsens elf Eigenkompositionen auf dieser Platte. ... Sie verbinden melodische Unmittelbarkeit mit einer fast soghaften atmosphärischen Kraft. Aber im eng verzahnten Trio-Zusammenspiel von Gustavsen mit dem Bassisten Harald Johnsen und dem Schlagzeuger Jarle Vespestad gehen die Stücke auch feine improvisatorische Verästelungen ein: Die Schönheit ist nicht nur hehr und sanft, sondern - bei allem Leisen, zu dem diese Musiker fähig sind - auch voller Intensität.

Roland Spiegel, Abendzeitung

Tord Gustavsen liebt die Melodien. Ihnen wendet er sich zu, als müsse er sie auf seinem Klavier nicht spielen, sondern singen ... Diese Musik ist sparsam und unspektakulär bis zum Äußersten, sie verweigert sich dem Gemälde, und widmet sich der Strichzeichnung, sie ist extrem kammermusikalisch ... Keine Melodie kommt so konventionell daher, dass sie nicht irgendwann doch noch ins Schräge, ja Gespensterhafte abgleiten würde. Die Spannung beziehen die Kompositionen von Tord Gustavsen aus der Kunst der minimalen Abweichung, mit der sie zu sanften, seltsam irrealen Kreaturen werden, beglückend und unheimlich zugleich.

Thomas Steinfeld, Süddeutsche Zeitung

Changing Places is a beauty ... but soaked in a hushed, delicate romanticism that's hard to resist. Most of the record is pitched at a whisper, with the spaces between the notes easily as significant as the notes themselves. Drummer Jarle Vespestad is felt rather than heard much of the time, while bassist Harald Johnsen provides gentle, intelligent support and lovely, guitar-like solos. The leader's improvisations are yearning, tender meditations, occasionally coloured with the palest of the Blues, and the compositions (all Gustavsen originals) have the quiet, sometimes folky ecstacies of Pat Metheny's or Keith Jarrett's ballads, with a quiet insistence that'll have you humming them for days to come. ... A truly beautiful record that (if there's any justice) will find a place as one of ECM's finest releases of the last few years, and probably a place in your heart too. Gorgeous.

Peter Marsh, BBC Online

Jazz debut of the year so far, no messing.

The Independent On Sunday

The magic of music has rarely been in better hands than on this beautiful debut album by the trio of pianist Tord Gustavsen. He has been an important part of the Norwegian jazz scene and here the spotlight is not only on Gustavsen's piano playing but also his compositions, an amalgam of Nordic beauty and quiet lyricism. This is music from the heart, softly spoken in its conception with a delicate sophistication all its own. But it's the seamless, melodic interplay of the trio that catches the ear. ... This is Norwegian jazz soulful, yet cool, brooding and almost pensive. The music flows with subtle finesse as suggested by the titles of compositions such ad "Deep As Love" and "Song of Yearning".

Kevin Jones, The Australian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right now listening to "The Ground". A very nice disc.

:tup

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I first encountered this dude's name I thought it was "Todd".

I listened to a few tracks from this CD today @ Tower Records. Wasn't spurred to buy it, but if you like this sort of thing -- a melodic piano trio with a slightly funky touch and the spacious ECM sound -- then you will probably like it a lot.

Guy

Picked up a copy via yourmusic.com. I think my initial assessment was right. The tempos are generally slow and as a result the album drags a bit. I wish they'd dug a little harder into the boogaloo groove on "Twins".

Guy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I first encountered this dude's name I thought it was "Todd".

I listened to a few tracks from this CD today @ Tower Records. Wasn't spurred to buy it, but if you like this sort of thing -- a melodic piano trio with a slightly funky touch and the spacious ECM sound -- then you will probably like it a lot.

Guy

Picked up a copy via yourmusic.com. I think my initial assessment was right. The tempos are generally slow and as a result the album drags a bit. I wish they'd dug a little harder into the boogaloo groove on "Twins".

Guy

Is it just my set-up, or are the drums mixed very low on this?? I can barely hear the drums!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They're touring again ...

Here are the dates for Germany (+ 2 in Switzerland), the southern/south-western leg of their tour:

14.03.2006

Frankfurt (D) , Mousonturm

16.03.2006

Lugano (CH) , Radiosaal

17.03.2006

Heidelberg (D) , Karlstorbahnhof

18.03.2006

Gschwend (D) , Musikwinter

29.04.2006

Kaiserslautern (D) , Kammgarn

05.05.2006

Allensbach (D) , Gnadenkirche

07.05.2006

München (D) , Unterfahrt

09.05.2006

Zürich (CH) , Moods

10.05.2006

Karlsruhe (D) , Tollhaus

11.05.2006

Stuttgart (D) , Theaterhaus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.