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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobo Stenson: Contra la indecision

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Swedish pianist Bobo Stenson could be considered an anomaly amongst the ECM roster of piano players. His work over the past decades has been more controlled and, not to be taken as an insult or affront to Stenson's earthy lyricism, less challenging than the works of past and current label-mates such as Paul Bley, Marilyn Crispell, Carla Bley, Keith Jarrett, Craig Taborn, Vijay Iyer, Django Bates, Benedikt Jahnel, or Colin Vance. Yet Stenson's deceptively beautiful molded organics have ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobo Stenson: Contra la indecision

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With a few exceptions, Swedish pianist Bobo Stenson has spent his long recording career with the prestigious ECM label, dating back to his oddly named Underwear in 1971. That particular album turned out to be more a showcase for bassist Arild Andersen and drummer Jon Christensen than for Stenson, and the pianist did not lead again on the label for twenty years. Stenson was hardly absent from Manfred Eicher's iconic label in those intervening years, appearing as a sideman for ...

DISCOGRAPHY

Bobo Stenson: A Discography

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This article has been updated since its original 2006 publish date. Over the course of forty years, pianist Bobo Stenson (born 1944, Vasteras, Sweden) has been able to adapt himself to contribute in whatever way is necessary for the music at hand. Always being himself yet never calling attention to his prowess, he plies his skills on projects and always ends up leaving his mark. As a leader, he is an alchemist who can extract, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobo Stenson Trio: Indicum

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With Cantando (ECM, 2008), Swedish pianist Bobo Stenson finally documented the significant renewal of his quarter-century trio with bassist Anders Jormin. The pair had been playing with Jon Fält since the departure of drummer Jon Christensen in the early 2000s. But if Fält was already touring with Stenson when Goodbye (ECM, 2005) was released, its curious--and less than completely successful--decision to record with the late Paul Motian meant that only those fortunate enough to have heard the trio live knew ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobo Stenson / Anders Jormin / Paul Motian: Goodbye

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Avant-garde and jazz legacy: in 2005, the German ECM label released Goodbye, from Swedish pianist Bobo Stenson, bassist Anders Jormin and drummer Paul Motian. The record represents the most accomplished work in Stenson's discography, because it wonderfully and fully embraces the latest jazz musical concepts and the perfect interplay between its band members. The album recalls Bill Evans's jazz trio ensembles, in terms of chords structure and, above all, arrangements. The first tune, “ Send in The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Plunge Trio with Bobo Stenson: Origo

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Origo is the Malmö, Sweden-based Plunge Trio's second collaboration with acclaimed fellow countryman/pianist Bobo Stenson, following Plunge with Bobo Stenson (Kopasetic Productions, 2005). This excellent trio's fourth release presents them at their best. The core group--Andreas Andersson on alto and baritone saxophones, bassist Mattias Hjorth and drummer Peter Nilsson on drums--always opts for patient, spontaneous improvisation that highlights slow development of form and structure upon fiery bursts of free playing. The collaboration with Stenson enriches both sides, and enables this ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobo Stenson Trio: Cantando

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Bobo Stenson sings! Well, not literally, but the highly communicative and evocative qualities that characterize his music are indeed imbued of such conductive lyricism that it seems rather appropriate pointing out Cantando (Spanish word for singing) is a well-chosen title.

Unpretentiously carving their place amidst the select cast of historically-significant piano trios, Stenson and longtime acolyte Anders Jormin reign supreme in the format's already charged heritage. Acclaimed for their distinctive European affect and approach as well ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobo Stenson Trio: Cantando

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Fans of the piano trio have been listening hard and wide for a follow-up to the "Holy Grails": Bill Evans' Live at the Village Vanguard (Riverside Records, 1961) and Waltz for Debby (Riverside Records, 1961). Those sets introduced democracy to the group's three-way interplay, making drums and bass near-equal partners with the piano. Swedish pianist Bobo Stenson's later trios have come close to that elusive perfection. Serenity (ECM Records, 2000) and Goodbye (ECM Records, 2006) both achieve rare ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobo Stenson Trio: Cantando

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The ECM label has championed the jazz aesthetic, quite audibly European rather than American, in differing proportions from release to release. Indeed, although ECM's New Series is ostensibly dedicated to new classical music, its edges leak over into jazz. For forty years and over one thousand albums, ECM has led the way towards the creation of a truly modern jazz. Cantando is a remarkable musical document by pianist Bobo Stenson, bassist Anders Jormin (his long-time partner), and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobo Stenson Trio: Cantando

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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 ...