Tord Gustavsen Trio – The Ground (2004) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Tord Gustavsen Trio – The Ground (2004)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:00:06 minutes | 1,11 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © ECM

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.

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.

1. Tord Gustavsen Trio – Tears Transforming (05:33)
2. Tord Gustavsen Trio – Being There (04:17)
3. Tord Gustavsen Trio – Twins (04:57)
4. Tord Gustavsen Trio – Curtains Aside (05:15)
5. Tord Gustavsen Trio – Colours of Mercy (06:09)
6. Tord Gustavsen Trio – Sentiment (05:35)
7. Tord Gustavsen Trio – Kneeling Down (05:48)
8. Tord Gustavsen Trio – Reach Out and Touch It (05:49)
9. Tord Gustavsen Trio – Edges of Happiness (03:07)
10. Tord Gustavsen Trio – Interlude (02:03)
11. Tord Gustavsen Trio – Token of Tango (04:12)
12. Tord Gustavsen Trio – The Ground (07:16)

Tord Gustavsen – piano
Harald Johnsen – double-bass
Jarle Vespestad – drums


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