The Swedish Open Trio, headed by pianist Joakim Simonsson, has operated since 2000. Its third release (after Colors and Goodbye Everything, 2003 and 2008, both on Found you Recordings, the label that Simonsson runs) refers ironically to its longevity but fortunately not to its fresh and creative output. The trio still stresses its lyrical and highly melodic strong foundations.
The group plays with a natural ease, confidence and elegance. Though Simonsson is the leader and the composer of all eight compositions, the interplay offers enough room for bassist Pär-Ola Landin and drummer Daniel Olsson to expand on Simonsson's compositional ideas as an equal collective. Landin plays with melodic flow and impeccable sense of time that bring to mind great Scandinavian bass players such as Palle Danielsson and Arild Andersen, and every solo of his, as, for example, on "The Blues" and "Hope" or the open-ended "Två," is masterful. Olsson's light and precise touch beautifully colors the music.
Two compositions stand out: both feature the lyrical, even melancholic side, of the trio. The spare and contemplative "Beate" develops patiently, and the reserved and gentle playing suggests a glimpse into the emotional turmoil that inspired this touching composition. On "Hope" Simonsson and Landin structure the strongest melodic theme here, in a telepathic interplay that explores more nuances and gets richer as this composition progresses.
Open trio has developed its own sound and approach. Hopefully this trio will not wait another five years before recording its fourth volume.
Track Listing: The Dinosaur; Center Guy; The Blues, Beata; Mr. Loop; Hope; Två; Vielno.
Personnel: Joakim Simonsson: piano; Pär-Ola Landin: double-bass; Daniel Olsson: