Magnus Ostrom: Late Night Playing, Humble Playing
This tune is the album's clearest link to Svensson, not just in its title, but also in the line-up of performers. Öström's new band take time out, for this tune is performed by Öström, Berglund and Metheny. It's a beautiful tune, beautifully performed"Late night playing, humble playing" as Öström puts it. "It was the first thing I wrote; at the end of 2008" explains the drummer. "It came to me really easily and clearly, and I felt immediately that this was a song for Esbjörn. Once that was clear I felt that I wanted to bring Dan, and also our sound engineer Åke Linton, to work on it. I really wanted us to be together on this. Very soon my thoughts went to Pat, but I knew that he rarely guests on stuff so I hesitated for a long while before I actually asked him. But I had to ask him, otherwise I would have regretted it."
Metheny happily agreed, which clearly pleased Öström: "I was so happy that it all worked out." The recording took place in New York, with Öström, Berglund and Linton all crossing the Atlantic for that one track. "It was probably a bit crazy, but what can I say?" says Öström, laughing. "I needed to do it, and it was a little bit of a once in a lifetime thing. Pat was very busy, but we found time in the first week of December 2010 so we put it all together."
"Ballad For E" became a real collaboration, as Öström acknowledges with pride: "When we met at the studio Pat showed me his arrangement of the song, so the recording is Pat's arrangement. He put a lot of effort and heart into it and I was more or less speechless. It wasn't just another session for him, he really wanted to honor the Trio and Esbjörn."
With the first album ready for release and a new band which is clearly giving him great pleasure, has Öström started to plan further projects? Not yet, as he explains: "Just now I am very much in this moment. Of course I have a lot of ideas but I am really looking forward to playing live with this band, to seeing where it leads. I'm looking forward to making another record with these guys but you never know: the whole business of making records might be at an end, so I'm happy that I at least got to make one with this band."
A few days before this interview Öström played live with pianist Eliane Elias and bassist Marc Johnson: his first gig in a piano trio since e.s.t. "It was fun," he says, "I was introduced to them a couple of years ago and we decided we wanted to play together, I'll see where that leads. We'll see what the future brings."
Magnus Öström, Thread Of Life (ACT, 2011)
Jeanette Lindström, Attitude And Orbit Control (Diesel Music, 2009)
Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Retrospective: The Very Best Of e.s.t. (ACT, 2009)
Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Leucocyte (ACT, 2008)
Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Live In Hamburg (ACT, 2007)
Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Tuesday Wonderland (ACT, 2006)
Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Viaticum (ACT, 2005)
Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Seven Days Of Falling (ACT, 2003)
Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Strange Place For Snow (ACT, 2002)
Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Good Morning Susie Soho (ACT, 2000)
Esbjörn Svensson Trio, From Gagarin's Point of View (ACT, 1999)
Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Winter in Venice (ACT, 1997)
Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Plays Monk (ACT, 1997)
Esbjörn Svensson Trio, e.s.t. Live '95 (ACT, 1995)
Esbjörn Svensson Trio, When Everyone Has Gone (Dragon, 1993)
All Photos: Per Kristiansen