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Label: ECM
Quality: FLAC 16 bits 44.1kHz
mp3 included
Track length:5:38
Artist: Tord Gustavsen Trio
Performer: Tord Gustavsen piano
Harald Johnsen double-bass
Jarle Vespestad drums
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Tord Gustavsen
ISRC: DEB330489201
Track length:4:17
Artist: Tord Gustavsen Trio
Performer: Tord Gustavsen piano
Harald Johnsen double-bass
Jarle Vespestad drums
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Tord Gustavsen
ISRC: DEB330489202
Track length:4:57
Artist: Tord Gustavsen Trio
Performer: Tord Gustavsen piano
Harald Johnsen double-bass
Jarle Vespestad drums
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Tord Gustavsen
ISRC: DEB330489203
Track length:5:15
Artist: Tord Gustavsen Trio
Performer: Tord Gustavsen piano
Harald Johnsen double-bass
Jarle Vespestad drums
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Tord Gustavsen
ISRC: DEB330489204
Track length:6:09
Artist: Tord Gustavsen Trio
Performer: Tord Gustavsen piano
Harald Johnsen double-bass
Jarle Vespestad drums
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Tord Gustavsen
ISRC: DEB330489205
Track length:5:35
Artist: Tord Gustavsen Trio
Performer: Tord Gustavsen piano
Harald Johnsen double-bass
Jarle Vespestad drums
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Tord Gustavsen
ISRC: DEB330489206
Track length:5:48
Artist: Tord Gustavsen Trio
Performer: Tord Gustavsen piano
Harald Johnsen double-bass
Jarle Vespestad drums
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Tord Gustavsen
ISRC: DEB330489207
Track length:5:49
Artist: Tord Gustavsen Trio
Performer: Tord Gustavsen piano
Harald Johnsen double-bass
Jarle Vespestad drums
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Tord Gustavsen
ISRC: DEB330489208
Track length:3:07
Artist: Tord Gustavsen Trio
Performer: Tord Gustavsen piano
Harald Johnsen double-bass
Jarle Vespestad drums
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Tord Gustavsen
ISRC: DEB330489209
Track length:2:03
Artist: Tord Gustavsen Trio
Performer: Tord Gustavsen piano
Harald Johnsen double-bass
Jarle Vespestad drums
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Tord Gustavsen
ISRC: DEB330489210
Track length:4:12
Artist: Tord Gustavsen Trio
Performer: Tord Gustavsen piano
Harald Johnsen double-bass
Jarle Vespestad drums
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Tord Gustavsen
ISRC: DEB330489211
Track length:7:16
Artist: Tord Gustavsen Trio
Performer: Tord Gustavsen piano
Harald Johnsen double-bass
Jarle Vespestad drums
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Tord Gustavsen
ISRC: DEB330489212

Of the Norwegian artists that ECM has introduced over the years, pianist Tord Gustavsen must count as one of the least "Nordic" in musical temperament. If the contemplative component of his music and its quietude still reflect Scandinavian priorities, the manner in which he has sought and located connections to early jazz - especially the blues, gospel music, and the nexus of Caribbean music and New Orleans jazz - is entirely his own.

"The Ground" reveals a stronger sense of purpose and a greater conceptual rigour than "Changing Places" , the trio's debut album. Without sacrificing the clear-edged melodic sensibility that can already be considered one of the hallmarks of Gustavsen’s writing, the musicians are better able to do improvise within the structure of the pieces. An immediate popular success, "The Ground" topped Norway's pop charts in its second week of release.

Tord Gustavsen piano
Harald Johnsen double-bass
Jarle Vespestad drums

Recorded January 2004

In the two years that have elapsed since the recording of a debut album that proved both a popular and a critical success, the Tord Gustavsen Trio have toured extensively, many miles of roadwork serving to emphasise and underline the uniqueness of Gustavsen's concept. Of the very many Norwegian artists that ECM has introduced over the years, Tord Gustavsen must count as one of the least “Nordic” in musical temperament. If the contemplative component of his music and its quietude still reflect Scandinavian priorities, the manner in which he has sought and located connections to early jazz – especially the blues, gospel music, and the nexus of Caribbean music and New Orleans jazz - is entirely his own. Tord Gustavsen is looking out at the tradition from a highly personal perspective, making sense of both his background as a Norwegian, and his enthusiasms as a jazz scholar and player.

"The Ground" reveals a stronger sense of purpose and a greater conceptual rigour than its predecessor: without sacrificing the clear-edged melodic sensibility that can already be considered one of the hallmarks of Gustavsen’s writing, the musicians are better able to do improvise within the structure of the pieces.

“In the course of touring”, says Tord Gustavsen, “we’ve come to a deeper understanding of our strengths. We’re both a very melodic trio and a very freedom-searching trio, and both those aspects may be clearer on the new record. The strong but somewhat abstract ‘gospel’ or ‘hymnal’ feel in much of our playing has also become more evident and central to our approach during the last couple of years. I think this relates to a constant urge to unite ‘openness’ with solid and sensuous foundations.” Gospel elements in the music go back to Gustavsen’s childhood and to teenage years spent playing the piano in church. “The hymnal elements in our music represent a kind of post-modern but sincere ‘sacred’ attitude in our approach to music at large. And wordless hymns may also have emerged from my personal need for music of support and hope in times of grief.”

The relationship of written material to improvising is calibrated differently in this trio, with none of bebop’s impatient rushing past the “heads” to improvise on the changes. These tunes don’t work that way. “I like to think of a piece as a whole. And I’ll use a lot of fragments from the composed piece, melodic fragments, also in my improvisations. Sometimes small fragments used for development. In any case, it’s imperative, for us, to have a real relationship between composition and improvisation -- it's an organic thing. All members of the trio are very focused on that.” Yet simultaneously the band members are taking greater freedoms, with drummer Jarle Vespestad in particular playing through the song-forms with much creativity and subtlety, and, to quote Gustavsen, “expressive minimalism”.

The Gustavsen Trio toured the world’s festivals even before making their first ECM recordings, with all three members comprising the band of popular singer Silje Nergaard. Singers figure prominently in Gustavsen’s history, much of his work has been with vocalists. Singers number amongst his most important influences, too, the names of Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith often coming up in conversations with him. It can be argued that his piano style, honouring and caressing a melody, owes at least as much to singers as it does to other pianists, although he has of course paid due attention to Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans, as well as to Jon Balke and Lennie Tristano.

About Tord Gustavsen Trio:

This is music that sings, at once gentle and robust. Lyrical, immediately memorable songs, songs of an appealing freshness, yet sophisticated in their involvement with the melodic line.

In the seven years that have elapsed since the recording of a debut album that proved both a popular and a critical success, Tord Gustavsen has toured extensively, crystallizing the musical approach and developing new compositions. The second trio album "The Ground" was released in 2005. In 2007 the trio completed a unique trilogy with a release named "Being There".

In 2009, Tord changed into a different and somewhat more flexible ensemble form, releasing the album "Restored, Returned" with a line-up including Kristin Asbjørnsen (vocals), Tore Brunborg (saxophones), Mats Eilertsen (bass), Jarle Vespestad (drums). The ensemble continues to perform in duo, trio, quartet and quintet formats -- exploring the different internal configurations while still remaining essentially one mu...