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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Esbjorn Svensson Trio: e.s.t. live in london

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Ten years on from the tragic death of Esbjörn Svensson, it's easy to forget just how ground-breaking e.s.t. was. Its seamless embrace of jazz, pop, rock and electronics aesthetics brought CD sales and a following more typical of successful pop acts. It was also the first European jazz band on the cover of Downbeat. Easy to forget, too, how influential the trio remains. Countless times, when a new a piano trio presents itself, the back-handed compliment is offered: 'Oh, they ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Esbjorn Svensson Trio: e.s.t. live in london

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Let's get the obligatory background recap out of the way first. The Esbjorn Svensson Trio was a one-of-a-kind outfit, their DNA encompassing an amorphous pop-classical-jazz-tronica mix that made all those things co-exist so naturally it was almost unnatural. For all their bold experimentalism in disregarding genres, sculpting song structures and often integrating processed sounds into the piano-trio format, e.s.t. stayed eminently approachable to listeners of vastly different stripes. The distinct alchemy helped them build a remarkable degree of acclaim through ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Esbjorn Svensson Trio: e.s.t. live in london

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In the ten years since the Esbjörn Svensson Trio came to a tragic end, a handful of piano trios have shown a trace of promise in becoming successors to the eclectic pianist's group. Capturing the raw energy that coalesced jazz, classical, rock, and technique in their unique way has been elusive. Since Svensson's accidental death in 2008 ACT Music has released Leucocyte (2008) and 301 (2012). The latter of the two consists of tracks that were recorded during the Leucocyte ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Catching Up With e.s.t.'s Dan Berglund and Magnus Ostrom

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The tragic death of pianist Esbjörn Svensson in the summer of 2008 brought to a close the 12-year run of one of the most prolific and brilliant piano trios in recent years. The enigmatically hypnotic tapestries that the Esbjörn Svensson Trio (which came to be known as e.s.t.) wove simultaneously eschewed and venerated the jazz tradition. This magnificent juxtaposition resulted in a unique musical world dealing as much with the piano trio lineage of Keith Jarrett as with the intoxicating ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

e.s.t.: 301

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Australia in January 2007, the height of summer, a time for relaxing on the beach and for taking it easy in the post-Christmas comedown--but not for the Esbjörn Svensson Trio. Hiring Sydney's Studio 301 for a couple of days, the band spent its time jamming and improvising, yielding what would seemingly be the groundbreaking trio's final studio album, Leucocyte (ACT, 2008), for Svensson's untimely death was less than 18 months away. In late 2011, bassist Dan Berglund and drummer Magnus ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

e.s.t.: Retrospective: The Very Best of e.s.t.

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Swedish pianist Esbjörn Svensson's accidental death in 2008 shook the jazz world, with AAJ news items surrounding his passing garnering tens of thousands of reads. Already jazz superstars in Europe, Svensson and e.s.t. were still building a North American audience, touring regularly to gradually grow its fan base; clearly it was working. All the more tragic, then, that the trio had just put the finishing touches to Leucocyte (ACT, 2008), a significant evolutionary leap forward. Where the group would have ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Esbjorn Svensson: Leucocyte

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The Esbjorn Svensson Trio's album Leucocyte was to have been a musical turning point in the band's career--marking a before and after. It was a brave leap into territory which the trio had previously only hinted at, and at the same time it probably marked what was to be a point of no return. In many respects this change, and the bold new sounds which don't always make for comfortable listening, are reminiscent of the transformation that Radiohead underwent between ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Esbjorn Svensson: Leucocyte

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It's too easy to fall into the trap of calling the last recording by a recently deceased artist “his best ever" or “a fitting end to his recorded legacy," but in the case of the final release by Swedish jazz superstars e.s.t. before their titular leader, pianist Esbjörn Svensson, died in a tragic diving accident in June, 2008, it's the only way to describe it. Leucocyte is an album that's like nothing the trio has released before, yet it possesses ...

INTERVIEWS

Esbjorn Svensson: Requiem

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Founder of the Swedish jazz trio, e.s.t., pianist Esbjorn Svensson and his trio were well-known for their jewel-like compositions and varied musical textures with albums including Seven Days of Falling (ACT, 2003) and Strange Place for Snow (ACT, 2002). Topping pop charts as well as garnering awards in Germany, the U.S. and Japan, e.s.t.'s lyricism and elastic imagination bridged both generations and genres since its inception in 1993.

Here, in a previously unpublished interview conducted during ...

PROFILES

Remembering Esbjorn Svensson

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The shocking news of the death of Swedish pianist Esbjorn Svensson in a diving accident off Stochholm, on Saturday 14th June, will surely deeply sadden music lovers everywhere. I say music lovers, as opposed to strictly jazz lovers, as Svensson himself was neither restricted nor confined by categories, and was perhaps rather perplexed by the need of some to constantly attempt to define what jazz is. The music he recorded and played alongside drummer Magnus Ostrom and bassist ...