by David Bruggink
In spiritual parlance, the other side" often refers to a realm beyond death. Tord Gustavsen is no stranger to integrating music to religious practice, performing frequent Musikkmeditasjon" concerts in Norwegian churches. It would be reductive, however, to describe his music in New Age terms. Gustavsen is a master composer and improviser, and The Other Side is introspective music performed with sublime subtlety, always keeping one eye trained on the avant-garde. This marks Gustavsen's first trio recording since Being ...read more
by Eric J. Iannelli
ECM considers pianist Tord Gustavsen to be the least Nordic" of the several Norwegian artists on its roster. This is because his compositions, while typically pensive and austere, have also endeavored to incorporate the deepest roots of jazz in Afro-American blues and gospel. Musical and philosophical sophistication commingles with raw emotion and lyrical melodies, creating a sound that is at once cerebral, spiritual, and visceral.
The style that he and his longtime (relatively speaking, as Gustavsen is only 35) trio ...read more
by AAJ Staff
Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen became something of a rock star in his own country after Changing Places (ECM, 2003) came out two years ago. The fact that a jazz record--particularly such a mellow, understated one--could rise above a mess of mass-market pop came as a surprise to just about everyone involved, but I guess it's a sign that the Norwegians have pretty good taste in music after all. The rest of the world caught on a little more slowly, but ...read more