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E.S.T. Tuesday Wonderland

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Album Review

Sweden's preeminent jazz fusion band the Esbjörn Svensson Trio, named after the charismatic and inventive pianist, has been a sensation in Europe since the early '90s, capturing numerous Swedish Grammys (including one for Tuesday Wonderland long before its Stateside release), a French Grammy, and gold and platinum awards in their home country, Germany and France. But they deserve more than this — a medal, actually — for finding a unique blend of melodic jazz, classical, electronica and rock — that has earned them an audience of both older jazz lovers and trendy hip-hop kids. It speaks to the freshness of their vibe that their videos play regularly on MTV Scandinavia and they're the only European jazz band ever to grace the cover of Downbeat. Though there are traditional elements at work, Tuesday Wonderland thrives on being unconventional. On the opening track "Fading Maid Pendulum," just as it's hypnotizing with a gentle, classically tinged piano melody, Dan Berglund jumps in with a brooding, distorted heavy metal bass craziness and drummer Magnus Ostrom goes cymbal crazy. It's electro-ambient jazz gone mad. The title track features Svensson's David Benoit-like, melodic dark-meets-light piano dichotomy over Ostrom's sharp, off-meter drums before some spacy electronica takes over for a spell. "Brewery of Beggars" is another inspired dose of insanity, darting from busy cymbal-piano swirls to softer, contemplative piano-bass moments. "Beggar's Blanket" puts those pesky beggars to sleep with a sweet, lullaby-like, straightforward trio ballad. The Pat Metheny-esque "Dolores in a Shoestand" explores the melodic and rhythmic potential of jazz, a vibe which extends to other enjoyably seductive pieces like "eighthundred Streets by Feet." "Goldwrap," on the other hand, is a marriage between trippy jazz and explosive trance music — no wonder the kids love this stuff! Listening to this disc is a gloriously schizophrenic experience that will appeal more to adventurous listeners than those who prefer one style to another. But it was a great introduction to what makes Europe tick in the early 2000s jazz-wise.

Customer Reviews

Top notch

I saw E.S.T. for the 5th time last Tuesday at Yoshi's. Quite simply they're better than ever, so good that I stayed for the second set (Something that I've only rarely done). The compositions are fantastic, the interplay that they have is flawless and they're really very nice people - very happy to talk after the show. Not to be missed by anyone, Jazz lover or not.

Excelent!

I can't stress this enough: Get any E.S.T. album you can get your hands on!
Their level of musicianship, creativeness and combination of different sounds and styles it's simply amazing.
This album is one of my favorite ones, along with Seven Days of Falling and Viaticum.
It's a must have for anybody who just likes listening to good music.

Rest in Peace Esbjorn. My prayers are with his family.

Superb musicianship.

Biography

Born: April 16, 1964 in Västerås, Sweden

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Pianist and composer Esbjörn Svensson looms among the most influential and innovative figures in contemporary jazz, drawing on inspirations spanning from Baroque to techno to create a body of work that earned both commercial and critical approval. Svensson was born in Västeras, Sweden, on April 16, 1964 — his mother was a classical pianist and his father a die-hard jazz buff, but in spite of his classical training he first gravitated toward pop, playing in a series of amateur rock & roll...
Full Bio
E.S.T. Tuesday Wonderland, Esbjörn Svensson Trio
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Trad Jazz
  • Released: Apr 10, 2007

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