Tord Gustavsen Trio; Being There (ECM) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

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Tord Gustavsen Trio: Still There
Tord Gustavsen Trio; Being There (ECM) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

This is Norwegian pianist Gustavsen's third album on the prestigious ECM label and his self-described style of "loving every note" is the hallmark of these often beautifully spare tracks where there is sometimes a hymnal quality, sometimes an intensity of focus that recalls Bill Evans, and at others times an almost ambient Eno-like quality in the melodic miniatures.

But that isn't to say this all airborne and esoteric, far from it.

Blessed Feet has a muscularity that one normally associates with Keith Jarrett, and Karmosin is a fragmented piece which sounds written for an innovative dance group to interpret. Where We Went is full of Spanish drama.

But it is tracks like the dreamily evocative Sani and Interlude, the ballads Still There and Around You, and the appropriately entitled Vesper which really draw you in. With bassist Harald Johnsen and drummer Jarle Vespestad who are sympathetic, supportive and exceptionally subtle, this is a genuinely beautiful, reflective and emotionally warm album that seduces from the atmospheric opener At Home and keeps your attention right through to the hymn-like Wide Open.

Wonderful stuff.

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