e.s.t. is a phenomenon: A jazz trio, which sees itself as a pop band that plays jazz, which broke with the tradition of leader and sidemen in favor of equality within its members, which not only plays jazz- venues but also venues usually reserved for rock bands, which uses light effects and fog-machines in their live shows, which gets a whole audience to sing-a-long with jazz-standards as eg. Thelonious Monk's "Bemsha Swing", is a trio that goes beyond the scope of the usual classic jazz trio. Their music can be found in the pop-charts and their videos are playing on MTV Scandinavia. With their unique soundscape, combining jazz with drum 'n' bass, electronic elements, funk rhythm, and pop and rock as well as European Classical music, e.s.t. won an audience spanning from the classic jazz-fans to the youngest HipHop fans. Critics and audiences world-wide agree: e.s.t. is definitely one of the most innovative jazz bands of today.
Openness, curiosity, and a little bit of chance are all a part of Esbjörn Svensson's artistic foundation: "I play piano because we didn't have any other instrument in the house. Actually, I would have rather played drums. For instance, as a kid, I put together a set out of old odds and ends, and tried to sound like "Sweet" on "Ballroom Blitz". But then Magnus-ström came with his drums, and I decided to stay with the piano. Magnus and I grew up together, and have played together from the beginning. When Magnus was given his first drum set, he brought it over to my house, and we started playing. We had no idea how to play, but it was a lot of fun. Since we didn't have a teacher, and no one was telling us how to play, we were able to gradually develop our music in a very unique, individualistic way."
From the mid-eighties on, Svensson and—ström established themselves as inspiring sidemen in the Swedish and Danish jazz scenes. They formed their first trio in 1990, but it wasn't until 1993 that they got the necessary lift to get a CD off the ground. It was then that they met Dan Berglund. Both were fascinated by the structural strength and creative diversity of his playing and were able to entice Berglund into joining the trio.
In 1993 the Esbjörn Svensson Trio recorded and released their debut album, When Everyone Has Gone (Dragon): in 1995, the live recording Mr. & Mrs. Handkerchief (Prophone), which has been released in the rest of the World six years later under the title e.s.t. Live '95.