Esbjörn Svensson Trio - From Gagarin's Point of View (1999)

This is one of my favorite albums from EST. If you're unfamiliar with them, they were a piano trio who played dynamic, spare, melodic jazz. Sometimes they create tempestuous, fx-augmented whirlwinds, other times the sparest of soundscapes. There's a tremendous amount of listening and respect within this group, and it shows- they've been playing together for a very long time. They don't really make jazz as most people think of it, because if this is jazz, we'll have to think of another word for the individualistic, overly cluttered mess that passes for jazz these days. This album makes most jazz groups seem about as cohesive and united as a class of kindergärtners biting each other on the playground. More albums to come. Also, I am sad to say that the titular dude passed away in a scuba accident a couple of years back. If you're interested in seeing the foundation on which they build their castles, here's a book of their charts, which includes a couple of tracks from this album.

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8 Responses so far.

  1. I don't think you know what spare means

  2. Lane says:

    well, you are familiar with spare the adjective, I trust? I definitely did mean it. The space they leave and the simplicity of the structures they build on is the defining feature of their music to me. Also, Esbjorn's style of soloing is very restrained, building slowly and carefully on the melody. Contrasting this with the pedal-to-the-metal approach of a lot of soloists since ever, I find his approach to the quite spare. Also, they have a lot of songs that are almost maddeningly soundscapeish. The closing track is the closest thing to that approach that appears on this album.

    In other ways though, they are totally not spare. I can see how that could be a bit misleading :P

  3. Göran says:

    Totally misslabeled. The "dude" was born in, lived in and died in Sweden.

    Swedish fury goes a ways further than norwegian...

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.
  5. Oh, I thought you were misspelling sparse

  6. Will says:

    hmm...mediafire's down?

    any thoughts on why this may be?

  7. Pier says:

    dunno, works for me.

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