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The Ground

Tord Gustavsen Trio

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Album Review

In the proto-typical Scandinavian ECM style of modern jazz oriented music, pianist Tord Gustavsen follows the path of previous progenitors influenced by Bill Evans, forged by Keith Jarrett, and extended by the likes of Mike Nock. This is certainly late-night, nocturnal music, completely reserved and relaxing, ultra-melodic, calm, peaceful, and non-threatening. Rarely does a tempo move beyond medium, a dynamic merge above mezzo piano, and any mood goes farther than moderately cool. Well within this consistent timbre, Gustavsen and his trio show a modicum of diversity and influences. Fellow ECM labelmate Bobo Stenson's style and technique is most extant during the lilting "Edges of Happiness," "Twins" is spiritual, calm, and light but not somber, while "Token of Tango" is perfectly representative of its title. "Curtains Aside" mixes march rhythm in 6/8 with a regal light funk, the delicate waltz "Being There" is reminiscent of "The Shadow of Your Smile," while darker ballads "Colours of Mercy" and "Sentiment" sport undoubtedly religious overtones. Gustavsen, while playing laid-back, pristine, pretty, and serene music, is far from challenging convention or pushing the envelope. Conversely, his personal voice is fully realized. Time will tell whether this style finds a worldwide audience, moves away from this type of contemporary texture music, or takes the approach he has established to any more extreme measures, even softer or more forceful. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Biography

Born: 05 October 1970 in Oslo, Norway

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

Before he started his trio, Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen was already very much involved in his country's jazz scene. Contributions to releases by groups like the Silje Nergaard Band, the Ulrich Drechsler Quartet, and others had already helped to establish him as one of Norway's top players. In 2003, signed to ECM, Gustavsen, along with drummer Jarle Vespestad and bassist Harald Johnsen, released Changing Places, which was followed in 2005 with Ground. Two years later, Being There, what Gustavsen...
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The Ground, Tord Gustavsen Trio
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