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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tord Gustavsen Quartet: Extended Circle

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Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen continues to evolve the amalgamation of classical, pop and jazz languages into a cohesive modern jazz sound. Gustavsen has released six albums on ECM Records with his ensemble and trio; Changing Places (2003), The Ground (2005), Being There (2007), Restored, Returned (2009), The Well (2012) and Extended Circle (2014). Gustavsen has won the Norwegian Grammy Awards (Spellemannsprisen) and numerous other awards and prizes. Gustavsen spent many years focusing on the piano trio format, but since 2011, the quartet has been Gustavsen's major touring ensemble of choice. Gustavsen has become known for his ability to ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Tord Gustavsen Quartet: Extended Circle

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The evolution of Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen and his relationship with ECM Records has always been more about expansion rather than linear forward motion. The closing sentence of an All About Jazz review of The Well (2012), in fact, says it all: “ If Changing Places [2003] announced an important new pianist on the international stage, nearly a decade later Gustavsen's The Well reaffirms a trajectory which may move forward in circumspect increments, but move forward it does, with the inevitability of ripples in a pond." It's no surprise, then, that the third album to feature the pianist's ...

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Tord Gustavsen: The Richness of Simplicity

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The quintessential quality of Tord Gustavsen's The Well (ECM), released at the beginning of 2012, immediately received elated reactions from jazz lovers and critics alike. Entwining a complex and very well-structured succession of moods, the album traverses the territories allotted to classical music and jazz, reaching far beyond those and leading the listener into a self-revealing experience of the most sensitive quality.Conducted just before a March, 2012 concert in Heidelberg, Germany's Holy Ghost Church, this interview represents a rewarding attempt to explore the musician's elusive world of sound, which unfurls its magic effect along a journey that wavers ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Tord Gustavsen Quartet: The Well

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Tord Gustavsen Quartet The Well ECM Records 2012 Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen may not have attained the level of success, say, of a Keith Jarrett or Chick Corea with his 2003 ECM debut, Changing Places, but it clearly struck a popular chord, as well as garnering no shortage of critical acclaim. Subsequent touring around the world, including a number of North American dates, honed the trio that would subsequently release The Ground (2005) and Being There (2007). But with its third ECM release, those who follow the German label knew that Gustavsen's next record ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tord Gustavsen Ensemble: Restored, Returned

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A spare beauty has characterized all of pianist Tord Gustavsen's trio recordings, and in this sense Restored and Returned is a natural continuation of his musical journey, with space and subtle dynamics characterizing these intimate compositions. What sets this recording apart from his most recent efforts is mainly the addition of vocalist Kristen Asbjørnsen, who brings a strongly personal, husky blues tone to the tunes she interprets, based on the poetry of W.H. Auden. Whether in duo, trio or quartet setting, the music is bound by a ruminative, brooding quality, as though looking into someone's deepest memories. The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tord Gustavsen Ensemble: Restored, Returned

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With three albums mining a seemingly narrow area--and proving just how broad that territory really--Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen changes gears with Restored, Returned. Abandoning the longstanding trio that, with Changing Places (ECM, 2003), The Ground (ECM, 2005), and Being There (ECM, 2007), brought him greater international acclaim, Restored's quintet remains relatively introspective in tone. Still, with singer Kristin Asbjørnsen and saxophonist Tore Brunborg--whose recent Lucid Grey (DRAVLE, 2009) received its own share of well-deserved attention--Gustavsen's palette is expanded, allowing him to more fully realize the song-like proclivity that's been at the core of much of his writing. Gustavsen--who, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Tord Gustavsen Ensemble at Royal Northern College of Music

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Tord Gustavsen Ensemble Royal Northern College of Music Manchester, England October 21, 2009

With the imminent release of Restored, Returned (2009, ECM) exclusively in the UK, Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen makes his British live debut with his new ensemble at Manchester's Royal Northern College of Music as part of a set of exclusive dates throughout the country. Returning percussionist Jarle Vespestad is joined by fellow esteemed countrymen bassist Mats Eilertsen and, augmenting the original trio setting, saxophonist Tore Brunborg to round out Gustavsen's new group. Delivering a program of older trio material and ...



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