Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Seven Days of Falling (Bonus Dvd)
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Jazz, Pop
In spite of a British writer's determined efforts to make them the Next Big Thing in American jazz via articles in publications including the New York Times, Sweden's E.S.T.--the Esbjörn Svensson Trio--didn't last long in ... more »
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In spite of a British writer's determined efforts to make them the Next Big Thing in American jazz via articles in publications including the New York Times, Sweden's E.S.T.--the Esbjörn Svensson Trio--didn't last long in the major-label spotlight. After two albums for Columbia in the early 2000s, they were supplanted on that label by the Bad Plus as the pop-attuned piano trio charged with turning the masses on to jazz. E.S.T. now comes to us through a small Philadelphia label, 215 Records, which, ironically, has a stronger and harder-edged album to work with than Columbia did. The trio is hardly revolutionary in utilizing loops and samples and held-down piano strings, and Svensson sometimes comes across as more Bruce Hornsby than Keith Jarrett in venting his jazz romanticism by use of simple melodies and clean rhythms. But Seven Days of Falling scores with episodic pieces that build in power and emotion and with reflective mood pieces that avoid the tedium to which cerebral Euro trios often succumb. E.S.T., which is also presented in concert on a bonus mini-DVD, has played together for a decade, and it shows. --Lloyd Sachs
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Jazz piano trio not your favorite format ? . . .
Jan P. Dennis | Monument, CO USA | 09/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
". . . then you might want to try these guys.
Jazz piano trio one of your favorite formats?
What separates these guys from the crowd is their expert use of an interesting combination of elements. Like the Bad Plus, they venture into rockish territory ("O.D.R.I.P."), and drummer Maguns Ostrom has a variety of rock-like moves (although he doesn't much sound like David King). Like the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, their bassist deploys some unusual technology and chops, getting his acoustic bass to sound like a fuzz-tone guitar ("Seven Days of Falling"). I don't know if he uses an octave pedal, but it sounds like it. Like Frank Kimbrough, Esbjorn Svensson makes simple materials dance, sing, and cavort ("Elevation of Love") in unique ways. Indeed, on the title cut, these guys resonate with the vibe of "Respiration" (From Buzz, Ben Allison's latest featuring Frank Kimbrough on piano) in an absolutely uncanny way.
There's a very attractive wistfulness suffusing this disc ("Ballad for the Unborn," "Evening in Atlantis," "Believe, Beleft, Below"). Yes, they play it just this side of sentimental, but their ability to snuggle up to but avoid the maudlin makes their performance that much more engaging.
I was originally going to give this disc four-and-a-half stars, but several additional listens jacks it up to a full five stars.
A Welcome Direction in Jazz!
Kevin Currie-Knight | Newark, Delaware | 07/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like any music, jazz depends on the influx of its young artists to keep it alive - to reinterpret, reinvent, and remake. That is exactly what the Esbjorn Svensson Trio (E.S.T.) is doing. They are creating an exciting new sound that blends dipserate styles of music together in exciting new ways. And Seven Days of Falling is one exciting album!
Some songs souind like the jazz we all know and love (Believe, Beleft, Below); others sound like modern fusion (Elevation of Love); others take a more agressive, hard rock approach (Mingle in the Mince Machine). Picture Pat Metheny with an edge or Medeski, Martin, and Wood without the descents into disonant mayhem. That is what these songs are about.
As another reviewer noted, Seven Days of Falling has a more edgy sound than E.S.T.'s previous discs. It does, that. All one must do is hear songs like the aforementioned Mingle in the Mince Machine, and tracks like O.D.R.I.P. to hear it. These heavier cuts, which often find the trio's accoustic bass, piano, and drums laced with distortion, are show-stealers for sure. Be that as it may, this disc proves that E.S.T. is equally adept at the ballady stuff, particularly due to Svensson's lyrical and sparse piano style.
I also feel compelled to mention the outstanding strength of the compositions on Seven Days of Falling. All too often, jazz suffers from a lack of catchy melodic lines and hooks (which are sadly relegated to smooth jazz artists like Kenny G). This is not the case with E.S.T. These songs not only feature good musicianship, but good songwriting to boot. All are eminently listenable for their melodic and harmonic craft.
Some have called E.S.T.'s music too "elevator" to catch the ear of the serious jazz fan. And I suppose that if you are really into hard bop and the like, E.S.T. will not be your bag. They do take a more tame approach, to be sure. But I am sure that this is why they've experienced so much success in Europe and favorable press in the states. I know that Seven Days of Falling has been making regular appearances in my CD player. Buy it and see what you think."
Different, unusual, and ... unpopular
Dmytro Perepolkin | 09/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is very strange for me that the main reviewer compares E.S.T. with The Bad Plus, because there's much more clarity, transparency, silence and logic in the music of these Swedish guys. If you could, in fact, compare them with somebody on the US scene, I would talk about Brad Mehldau, not about The Bad Plus. One needs to look in perspective: consider their earlier albums Plays Monk, Winter in Venice, even Strange Place For Snow. These are all classical trio type of recordings. It is not their electronical experiments that make them sound such beautifully. It is the underlying logic and melodiy and "smoothness of musical thought", if you will. Their distinctive style has nothing to do with hard-rock experiments, unsyncronized rythms or blurry type of harmony (that's how I always recognize The Bad Plus). These guys are great.
US has pretty strong expectations concerning how the jazz should sound like. Northern European culture does not fit these expectation. That's why E.S.T. is not popular. There is rich ethnical background in their music. No wonder it sounds strange to the Northern American ear. As far as I know, even Esbjorn himself does not call his music "jazz". "It's EST music" - he says in the interview.
If you really like to listen to good Northern music, start with E.S.T., listen to Oystein Sevag, try Victoria Tolstoy, listen to Nils Landgren's duo with Esbjorn Svensson. It's either you like it, or you don't. It's not about choosing between The Bad Plus and E.S.T. You can't compare them. You may enjoy both as I do. But I love E.S.T. to pieces because their music is very close to my ethnical roots and I can relate to what they're saying in their music.