Tord Gustavsen Ensemble: Restored, Returned (ECM/Ode)

 |   |  <1 min read

Tord Gustavsen Ensemble: Spiral Song
Tord Gustavsen Ensemble: Restored, Returned (ECM/Ode)

The previous album by young ECM pianist Gustavsen at Elsewhere was his trio album Being There which was named a Best of Elsewhere 2007 album.

Echoes of that group's delicate beauty and vibrant muscularity are evident in this quintet with vocalist Kristin Asbjornsen who here sings lyrics adapted from W H Auden's Another Time on four of the 11 pieces. Her slightly scuffed, blues-ballad voice -- and engaging, almost ambient sound in places -- brings an art-pop element to the album (her tracks are neatly woven between instrumentals) and saxophonist Tore Brunborg's soprano tone has some of that acerbic bite of Jan Garbarek.

This makes for an album of some welcome changes in texture and mood -- an accusation sometimes made against some ECM records is the uniformity of tone. There is even a lightly Afro-funky feel in the rhythm section on the Middle Eastern-influenced The Gaze.

So here is a rarity in the ECM catalogue, an album that engages the heart and feet as much as the head.

Tord Gustavsen has proven again he is one of the new generation of European musicians to really listen out for. 

Share It

Your Comments

Chris - Feb 15, 2010

Have been really enjoying this album. Was worried the sax and vocals might feel a bit tacked on after the trio albums. If you haven't, check out the drummer Jarle Vespestad's work in Supersilent.

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

John Abercrombie Quartet: Wait Till You See Her (ECM/Ode)

John Abercrombie Quartet: Wait Till You See Her (ECM/Ode)

For the first two-thirds of this album featuring guitarist Abercrombie, violinist Mark Feldman, bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Joey Baron, the more vigorous emotions are kept in check: the tunes... > Read more

Andy Atwill: 3 Sides of the Same Coin (Ode)

Andy Atwill: 3 Sides of the Same Coin (Ode)

Bassist (electric and acoustic), composer and arranger Atwill pulls together the cream of New Zealand jazz players (including Ron Samsom, Carolina Moon, Kevin Field and Kim Paterson) for this... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Elvis Presley: US Male (1968)

Elvis Presley: US Male (1968)

In '67-'68 very few people were listening to Elvis Presley in the way they once did. The mode of the music had changed, the musical cultures of London and San Francisco were dominant and the new... > Read more

John Martyn: Solid Air (1973)

John Martyn: Solid Air (1973)

When the great British singer-songwriter John Martyn died in January 2009 there was initially very little media coverage -- and then people realised the significance of this innovative and creative... > Read more