The tragic death of pianist Esbjörn Svensson in the summer of 2008 brought to a close the 12-year run of one of the most prolific and brilliant piano trios in recent years. The enigmatically hypnotic tapestries that the Esbjörn Svensson Trio (which came to be known as e.s.t.) wove simultaneously eschewed and venerated the jazz tradition. This magnificent juxtaposition resulted in a unique musical world dealing as much with the piano trio lineage of Keith Jarrett as with the intoxicating electronica of Squarepusher.The trio, also featuring bassist Dan Berglund and drummer Magnus Öström, enjoyed a level of success ...read more
Australia in January 2007, the height of summer, a time for relaxing on the beach and for taking it easy in the post-Christmas comedown--but not for the Esbjörn Svensson Trio. Hiring Sydney's Studio 301 for a couple of days, the band spent its time jamming and improvising, yielding what would seemingly be the groundbreaking trio's final studio album, Leucocyte (ACT, 2008), for Svensson's untimely death was less than 18 months away. In late 2011, bassist Dan Berglund and drummer Magnus Öström returned to the unreleased music and, in collaboration with sound engineer Åke Linton, prepared 301.301 refers to ...read more
Swedish pianist Esbjörn Svensson's accidental death in 2008 shook the jazz world, with AAJ news items surrounding his passing garnering tens of thousands of reads. Already jazz superstars in Europe, Svensson and e.s.t. were still building a North American audience, touring regularly to gradually grow its fan base; clearly it was working. All the more tragic, then, that the trio had just put the finishing touches to Leucocyte (ACT, 2008), a significant evolutionary leap forward. Where the group would have gone we'll never know, but its recorded legacy--12 albums in 15 years--is beautifully represented, nearly from start to finish, on ...read more
Esbjorn Svensson Trio Leucocyte ACT 2008The Esbjorn Svensson Trio's album Leucocyte was to have been a musical turning point in the band's career--marking a before and after. It was a brave leap into territory which the trio had previously only hinted at, and at the same time it probably marked what was to be a point of no return. In many respects this change, and the bold new sounds which don't always make for comfortable listening, are reminiscent of the transformation that Radiohead underwent between the much loved ... read more
e.s.t. (Esbjörn Svensson Trio) Leucocyte ACT Music 2008
It's too easy to fall into the trap of calling the last recording by a recently deceased artist his best ever" or a fitting end to his recorded legacy," but in the case of the final release by Swedish jazz superstars e.s.t. before their titular leader, pianist Esbjörn Svensson, died in a tragic diving accident in June, 2008, it's the only way to describe it. Leucocyte is an album that's like nothing the trio has released before, yet it possesses the unmistakable personality that ...read more
Founder of the Swedish jazz trio, e.s.t., pianist Esbjorn Svensson and his trio were well-known for their jewel-like compositions and varied musical textures with albums including Seven Days of Falling (ACT, 2003) and Strange Place for Snow (ACT, 2002). Topping pop charts as well as garnering awards in Germany, the U.S. and Japan, e.s.t.'s lyricism and elastic imagination bridged both generations and genres since its inception in 1993.
Here, in a previously unpublished interview conducted during the IAJE conference in 2006, Svensson talks about the nature of music, life and the human condition.
The shocking news of the death of Swedish pianist Esbjorn Svensson in a diving accident off Stochholm, on Saturday 14th June, will surely deeply sadden music lovers everywhere.
I say music lovers, as opposed to strictly jazz lovers, as Svensson himself was neither restricted nor confined by categories, and was perhaps rather perplexed by the need of some to constantly attempt to define what jazz is. The music he recorded and played alongside drummer Magnus Ostrom and bassist Dan Berglund for fifteen years embraced the idiosyncrasy and fun of Thelonious Monk, echoed the drama and penchant for melody ...read more