Group’s Second Posthumous Release Following Pianist Esbjörn Svensson’s Death Receives Critical Recognition in the UK
Borderless Trio Ventures Into Jam Band & Electronica Formats on Album
“One of e.s.t.’s greatest albums, and even arguably their ultimate work.”
– Martin Longely, BBC Music
“…this might well be the group’s best ever record.”
– Phil Johnson, The Independent
“…a worthy, welcome reminder of the majesty of e.s.t.”
– Bruce Lindsay, All About Jazz
ACT Music announces the release of 301, a full album of previously unheard material by e.s.t. (Esbjörn Svensson Trio), available on May 8. The album is a follow up to e.s.t.’s 2008 effort, Leucocyte, and is the group’s second album following pianist Esbjörn Svensson’s tragic death (prior to Leucocyte’s release). Heralded as one of the most exciting jazz bands of the decade, the seven-track album features Svensson with his longtime band mates, drummer Magnus Öström and bassist Dan Berglund.
In January 2007, e.s.t. was on tour in Asia and Australia performing shows in Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, Jakarta, Perth and Sydney. It was their third tour of Japan and their second time on the continent; and the venues and audiences had become noticeably bigger. Only a few weeks before, they had finished their triumphant tour of Germany, including a legendary performance in Hamberg which resulted in Live In Hamburg (ACT, 2007), awarded “Album of the Decade” by the London Times. It was undoubtedly the prime time for the style-defining jazz band of the 2000s.
The group decided to rent the famous “Studio 301” in Sydney for their off-days in the middle of the Australian tour and jammed for two consecutive days to develop new songs and material. Altogether they recorded nine hours of music. Leucocyte became the first release from these sessions and has been praised by critics and fans alike as a ground-breaking work that leads into a new musical universe. Very soon after the recording, Svensson had edited much of the material down to two albums. And so the plan at the time was to release either a double album or two consecutive albums from this recording. Svensson’s tragic passing on June 14, 2008 (as a result of a scuba diving accident) disrupted this undertaking and only one of the albums, Leucocyte (ACT, 2008), was released at the time.
Three years later, in October and November 2011, Berglund and Öström revisited the material from that recording session and together, with the band’s regular sound engineer Ake Linton, made their own edit for an album which is now called 301, on the basis of the name of the studio where the album was recorded.
Throughout their existence, one of e.s.t.’s defining characteristics was their seemingly effortless and interconnected interplay, which was on such a high level that it seemed to suggest that they were “three mutant bodies with six arms and one brain” (remarked Jamie Cullum). This high level of interaction was achieved through years of playing together, hard work and preparation – after all e.s.t. were together since 1993. Such a connection becomes especially important when jamming without net in a studio marathon like e.s.t. did in Sydney on these recordings.
The recording sessions in “Studio 301” are not only a jam, but involved e.s.t. ́s sound engineer Ake Linton in the creative artistic process. Linton had traveled with the band since early 2000 and was the man behind the mixing desk for over 500 shows. Together with him, e.s.t. had designed their own recognizable trademark sound and Linton made sure that wherever they went and performed this sound was recognizable. During the recording process at “Studio 301,” he would contribute by running effects, overlaying distortions and add-ins live through the desk and onto tape. This procedure is especially delicate as it cannot be reversed during mixing sessions. Therefore it is no surprise that both Leucocyte and now also 301 were finally mixed and mastered at Bohus Sound Recording in Gothenburg and involved Linton as the mixing engineer.
Svensson’s death put a much too early end to e.s.t.’s creative output, at a point where the group was just beginning to receive greater recognition in the United States. For Berglund and Öström it has been a painful process to revisit the Sydney recording. Both had to move on after the sad events of Svensson’s death in 2008. Berglund regrouped with pre-e.s.t.-era musical friends and formed the indie-outfit “Tonbruket,” which released two albums so far (Tonbruket and Dig it to the End), while Magnus Öström released his solo-album Thread of Life (ACT, 2011) featuring an Esbjörn Svensson tribute song by Bergland and Pat Metheny.
The fan community has been longing for access to archival material and recordings ever since Svensson’s passing. With 301, they are now getting a full album of new original compositions and music by e.s.t.
e.s.t. was a phenomenon: A jazz trio, that saw itself as a pop band that plays jazz, which broke with the tradition of leader and sidemen in favor of equality within its members, which not only played jazz-venues but also venues usually reserved for rock bands, which used light effects and fog-machines in their live shows, which got a whole audience to sing-a-long to jazz-standards as eg. Thelonious Monk’s “Bemsha Swing”, is a trio that goes beyond the scope of the usual classic jazz trio. Their music was found in the pop-charts and their videos played on MTV Scandinavia. With their unique soundscape, combining jazz with drum ‘n’ bass, electronic elements, funk rhythm, and pop and rock as well as European classical music, e.s.t. won an audience spanning from the classic jazz fans to the younger hip hop fans. Critics and audiences worldwide agree: e.s.t. was one of the most innovative jazz bands of the 21st century.
e.s.t./Esbjörn Svensson Trio · 301
ACT Music · U.S. Release Date: May 8, 2012
Esbjörn Svensson / piano, electronics, transistor radio
Dan Berglund / double bass, electronics
Magnus Öström / drums, voices, electronics
All songs composed by Esbjörn Svensson, Dan Berglund and Magnus Öström.
1. Behind The Stars (3:44)
2. Inner City, City Lights (11:45)
3. The Left Lane (13:37)
4. Huston, The 5th (3:34)
5. Three Falling Free Part I (5:49)
6. Three Falling Free Part II (14:30)
7. The Childhood Dream (8:02)
Total Time: 61:01
For more information on e.s.t., please visit est-music.com
For more information on The ACT Company, please visit: actmusic.com
..:: SOURCE: DL Media ::..