Review Summary: A debut offering full of a chaotic balance of smooth and frantic modern jazz.The Esbjorn Svennson Trio
– also referred to as E.S.T. – were at the forefront of a resurgence in interest in jazz music in the early 90’s, and managed to continue cultivating new generations of fans until the band’s tragic end in 2008. What was so special about the Trio’s music was how captivating it was not to just fans of jazz, but to music fans in general. Perhaps even more impressive was the band’s ability to further captivate a younger audience of music lovers who were just stumbling upon the genre for the first time. The unit’s music was technically brilliant, influenced by some of jazz music’s greatest players, and possibly some of the most accessible jazz music put on record. The latter is a pretty damn big achievement for a genre that is often thrown by the wayside by music fans that can’t be bothered giving the sound a patient ear.
After scattered periods of jamming, Esbjorn Svennson Trio
was formed with Esbjorn on the piano, alongside Dan Berglund on double bass and Magnus Öström on the drums. The trio put out their first disc, 1993’s When Everyone Has Gone
, which would lead the band down a fairly prolific studio and live recording career. The debut disc possesses much of what would become staples within the E.S.T. sound, though this disc is perhaps a little more daring at points than some of its predecessors (see Mohammed Goes to New York, Pt.1
). The scope of the music ranges from calm, relaxing jazz melodies to sporadic, almost chaotic piano spurts and furious drumming. Despite all these swirling elements, there is certain kind of flow to this record, though still keeping the listener guessing about what’s around the next corner at moments. Svennson’s piano is at the forefront of When Everyone Has Gone, though anything but Öström’s drumming would feel out of the place, and the rhythmic sense he shares with Berglund is a necessity within this music. Oddly enough, what seems to really hold the album together is its chaotic nature. From the gentle beginnings of opener When Everyone Has Gone
and it’s frantic piano showcase follower Fingertrip
the pace of the album seems to follow suit. At points the order is mixed up, but in short the variety of tempos should keep most jazz listeners happy. This is a solid release from a fantastic band and should be heard by many.
Mohammed Goes to New York Pt. 2