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Tord Gustavsen: Being There

By Published: April 2, 2008

AAJ: A mandatory question: what is jazz for you and how much of it is involved in your music?

TG: I am a bit tired of this question—but still I understand that it has to be asked from time to time...

Tord Gustavsen

The only thing that is fundamentally important to me is to try to play music that feels as honest and true and fresh as possible. There will be traces of historic American jazz (and even the blues and spirituals) in what we do. But our music will first of all be a product of everything we listen to in a globalized world—a world where your personal synthesis defines you, where West African folk music, Scandinavian traditional dance forms and lullabies, Baroque cantatas and fugues and Ligeti's sheets of sound are just as important as jazz heritage.

Jazz today is at a very fascinating crossroads between staying in touch with its pure history and being a part of different scenes—contemporary music, pop music and world music scenes. This complexity can be confusing, but it is precisely in this complexity that the music develops, with individuals developing their own synthesis and cultivating unique voices.

Selected discography

Tord Gustavsen Trio, Being There (ECM, 2007)
Ana Maria Jopek, Id (Izabelin, 2007)
Kristin Asbjørnsen, Factotem (Milan, 2006)
Tord Gustavsen Trio, The Ground (ECM, 2005)
Silje Niergaard, Nightwatch (Emarcy/Universal, 2004)
Stian Carstensen, Backwards into the Backwoods (Winter & Winter, 2004)
Tord Gustavsen Trio, Changing Places (ECM, 2003)

Photo Credits
Bottom Photo: Dragan Tasic
All Other Photos: Hans Fredrik Asbjørnsen

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