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Ground
     

The Ground

5.0 3
by Tord Gustavsen Trio
 
The ECM piano artist is a jazz tradition in itself. From Paul Bley, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Bobo Stenson, John Taylor, and others to the latest shining light, Tord Gustavsen, the adventurous recording label has given visionary keyboardists freedom to develop their own unique voices, in both solo and group settings. Gustavsen has yet to record alone for the label,

Overview

The ECM piano artist is a jazz tradition in itself. From Paul Bley, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Bobo Stenson, John Taylor, and others to the latest shining light, Tord Gustavsen, the adventurous recording label has given visionary keyboardists freedom to develop their own unique voices, in both solo and group settings. Gustavsen has yet to record alone for the label, his main expressive avenue being the piano trio. United with bassist Harald Johnsen and drummer Jarle Vespestad, the leader has now fashioned two quietly dazzling albums that display the trio�s crystalline ensemble sound and Gustaven�s rare gifts as both an improviser and composer. An extension of their debut, Changing Places, The Ground is marked by the beautiful sound of group members perfectly in tune with each other�s musical sensibilities. The album may be characterized by ECM's overriding aesthetic -- meditative, lyrical, and dynamically sensitive interaction mixed seamlessly with eclectic leanings of gospel, classical, and subtle world music touches -- but Gustavsen and company put their own enchanting and captivating slant on it all. This is a recording to savor, and the Gustavsen trio is a musical unit that merits close attention.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
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.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/05/2005
Label:
Ecm Records
UPC:
0028947619383
catalogNumber:
000412302
Rank:
56435

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The Ground 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The music of the Norwegian three man ensemble Tord Gustavsen Trio certainly fits into the jazz category, but it still does appeal to a much wider audience than jazz music lovers. Simply because the music above all is beautiful and moving. Sophisticated and advanced, yet never overly improvised. The beautiful and cathing melody lines are always present. Listen to this album and discover that these musicians have a rare passion for the music they perform. The trio's new album "Being There" will be released April 2007 in Norway. I heard one of the melodies on the new album on a live concert in Sandefjord, Norway, spring 2006. I just can't wait for the new album release...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Music lovers, look out! Above all, Tord Gustavsen Trio from Norway is all about cool, calm, beautiful and somewhat melancholy jazz melodies. Nothing is more respectable than making and performing only new and original tunes that sound like jazz classics. That is exactly what Tord Gustavsen Trio does. Improvisation and technically well performed jazz pieces often become boring if the artists loose the melodic theme as they improvise. The members of Tord Gustavsen Trio ARE clever musicians and they DO improvise, but they never loose touch with the melody. The never exaggerate. No 'show-off improvisation' that kills the musical beauty. The Trio just let the brilliant melodies emerge. The piano, the upright bass and the percussion interact as a whole on behalf of music. These guys do variations over melodic themes. Never boring. Never overdone. Just beautiful. And very melodiuos. PS: Those of you who are audiophiles and appreciate a splendid recording quality with a huge and multi-dimentional soundstage and lots of air, might want to know that this CD is highly recommended for that reason, as well. Brilliant music combined with a 1st class recording quality. Tord Gustavsen Trio has already got some wll deserved attention from the music interested public. It would not surprise me if they will become a tremendous international success. This recording really deserves Five Stars: ***** Outstanding!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Every jazz & classical lover GOT to have this album and the previously released Changing Places. Sound great sonically & musically.