In the wake of the tragic passing of critically acclaimed pianist-composer Esbjörn Svensson a new album is revitalized and titled “301,” this is the Trio’s second full release and follow up to “Leucocyte” since his accidental death in 2008.
Fans are undoubtedly sadden by this untimely lost, and now it’s time to respectfully pay homage to this phenomenal artist. Svensson’s sidekicks are triumphant in their quest to release another compelling adventure of jazz and improvisation spanning from a volume of uncharted music to set a new standard in this genre featuring Esbjörn Svensson on piano, Dan Berglund – double bass/electronics and Magnus Ostrom on drums, voices and electronics.
“301” is surrounded audibly by the ubiquitous elements of European sounds of jazz, classical, rock, and electronics fused into the chasm of seven daunting compositions. From the onset, the characteristics of the opening pieces “Behind The Stars and Inner City, City Lights” harness intelligible interplay to create a provocative conversation by adapting uncluttered nuances layered with recognizable and surreal melodies shape these previously unheard compositions reflects this intuitive genius explored in this soundscape produced by Berglund and Ostrom.
Although it had to be a painful experience revisiting the unfinished ruminates of this project, the duo brilliantly maintained their vision to pursue this challenge successfully. “The Left Lane” appears at the third position incorporates classic e.s.t. polyrhythmic progressions by overlaying these textures with strokes of shifting effects and intense colors generate unusual evenness driven through the voice of improvisation by the Trio.
The fusion educed electronics inhabited on “Houston, The 5th” was engineered through their ongoing appetite to use varied influences by merging uncommon threads of abstract music with mechanics as a vessel to create unorthodox sounds. On “Three Failing Free Part I,” Svensson’s delicate and absorbing touch on the piano quietly progresses with unrushed vocabularies is the perfect interlude.
“Three Failing Free Part II,” smartly interconnects the unyielding voices with timeless signatures to evoke this groundbreaking sound. Remarkably this song ascends with a whirlwind of multi-fragments of lyricism and robust symmetries that are not often expressed in this idiom. Exaggerated on my part, maybe, but this gem is a definitive expedition that will undoubtedly blow away anyone who claims to be a musicologist.
“301” titled after the famous Studio 301 in Sydney, Australia. The duo noticeably took on a huge undertaking to finish this masterpiece comprised by them. With “301,” they’ve convincingly affirmed their love and passion as long-time band-mates to enrich the memory of Esbjörn Svensson their beloved friend and brother. The album closes with a stunning selection appropriately titled “The Childhood Dream.”
At this point, critics and fans claim “301” is arguably the best album ever by the Esbjörn Svensson Trio (e.s.t.). I’ll concur, no reason to say otherwise because this recording obviously deserves the praises it’s receiving. If you’re a fan, then you’ve probably already picked up this album. If not, don’t let this one slip away because this is your time to discover this inexhaustible and stimulating recording by one of the most potent Trio’s in jazz, progressive and improvised music since their inception in early 2000.
Recommended by Rob Young | Urban Flux Media | Review
Meet the Band:
Esbjörn Svensson – piano
Magnus Ostrom – drums
Dan Berglund – double bass
1) Behind The Stars
2) Inner City, City Lights
3) The Left Lane
4) Houston, The 5th
5) Three Failing Free Part I
6) Three Failing Free Part II
7) The Childhood Dream
Produced by e.s.t. [All songs by Esbjörn Svensson, Dan Berglund & Magnus Ostrom]