All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

399

Bobo Stenson Trio: Cantando

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
While Bobo Stenson's last record, Goodbye (ECM, 2005), was a fine addition to the Swedish pianist's small but significant discography, it was also something of a transitional record. Drummer Jon Christensen—an essential member of Stenson's trio for decades, appearing on all four of the pianist's previous releases as a leader on ECM from Underwear (1971) through to the high watermark of Serenity (2000)—was gone. The legendary Paul Motian filled the drum chair for Goodbye, bringing a very different kind of textural approach to the date, but his busy schedule and inability to tour made it a record about instantaneous chemistry, rather than the kind that evolves from playing together extensively.



Cantando continues Stenson's twenty-year relationship with Anders Jormin. A virtuosic player with remarkable extended techniques, his relationship with Stenson has always been that of an equal—his singing double-bass as much a factor in defining the trio's unique complexion as Stenson's own ability to bring unerring lyricism to even the most open-ended context. Jormin has also been responsible for introducing compelling material, including that of Cuban singer/composer Silvio Rodriguez, whose "Olivia" opens Cantando with the perfect combination of melodic resonance and liberal interpretation. Like Stenson, Jormin never loses sight of the essence of the material, but he approaches it with pliant unpredictability—often teetering on the edge of a precipice, but with enough counterbalance to ensure neither he nor Stenson ever tumble headlong into it.



What makes Cantando another milestone like Serenity is the introduction of Jon Fält, a young drummer who has been playing with Stenson for the past few years but who makes his ECM debut here. Still shy of 30, Fält's no less a colorist than Motian or Christensen, but he brings a refreshing directness to the music. Capable of sublime implication on the two haunting versions of Czech composer Petr Eben's "Song Of Ruth," he balances delicate touch with greater assertion on Jormin's more outgoing "Wooden Church" while bringing nuanced pulse to the bassist's equally thematic "M." He may lack the benefit of Stenson and Jormin's many years together, but the profound chemistry is undeniable as he brings new energy to the trio, encouraging his trio mates to play with a vitality not heard since War Orphans (ECM, 1998), even as they all approach the music with more thoughtful abandon.



The choice of material ranges from Ornette Coleman's rarely covered "A Fixed Goal" to an extemporaneous look at classical composer Alban Berg's dark-hued "Liebesode." But "Pages" is Cantando's most revealing track. A fourteen-minute spontaneous composition, itself culled from four separate improvs pieced together by producer Manfred Eicher, it demonstrates just how organically Stenson, Jormin and Fält can pull form out of the ether. It's the first time Stenson has included such an extended free piece on record, making Cantando one of the pianist's best by building on past accomplishments while demonstrating newfound potential, greater diversity and unforeseen energy.


Track Listing: Olivia; Song of Ruth; Wooden Church; M; Chiquilin de Bachin; Pages; Don's Corapiece; A Fixed Goal; Love I've Found You; Liebesode; Song of Ruth

Personnel: Bobo Stenson: piano; Anders Jormin: double-bass; Jon Fält: drums.

Title: Cantando | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Discography
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Indicum

Indicum

ECM Records
2012

buy
Cantando

Cantando

ECM Records
2008

buy
Goodbye

Goodbye

ECM Records
2006

buy
Goodbye

Goodbye

ECM Records
2005

buy

Related Articles

Read Atwood Suites CD/LP/Track Review
Atwood Suites
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 25, 2018
Read Theirs CD/LP/Track Review
Theirs
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2018
Read Jubilation! CD/LP/Track Review
Jubilation!
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 25, 2018
Read And She Speaks - A Collection Of Ballads CD/LP/Track Review
And She Speaks - A Collection Of Ballads
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 25, 2018
Read Let Go CD/LP/Track Review
Let Go
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: June 25, 2018
Read Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh CD/LP/Track Review
Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 24, 2018
Read "The Berlin Concert" CD/LP/Track Review The Berlin Concert
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 18, 2018
Read "Roscanna" CD/LP/Track Review Roscanna
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 1, 2018
Read "Viriditas" CD/LP/Track Review Viriditas
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 24, 2017
Read "Radio Omnibus" CD/LP/Track Review Radio Omnibus
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: June 5, 2018
Read "Alcanza" CD/LP/Track Review Alcanza
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 14, 2017
Read "First Impressions" CD/LP/Track Review First Impressions
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 25, 2018