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Tord Gustavsen: The Other Side

Read "The Other Side" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Like a dusty, Southern gothic novel, Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen opens his return to the trio format with the moody, enigmatic “The Tunnel." All his compositions on The Other Side bare their secrets slowly and play out their methodically expressionistic hauntings with a gospel-influenced left hand seemingly rooted thousands of miles away in the muddy Louisiana delta. Though Being There (ECM, 2007) was widely hailed yet often criticized as being cool in nature, The Other Side is a ...

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Belgrade Jazz Festival 2016

Read "Belgrade Jazz Festival 2016" reviewed by Thomas Conrad

2016 Belgrade Jazz Festival Belgrade, Serbia October 26-October 30, 2016 Because of the wars in the former Yugoslavia, the Belgrade Jazz Festival, like most good things in the Balkans, went dark for 15 years after 1990. When it started up again in 2005, it was small. By 2008, it was big enough to book names like The Bad Plus, Christian Scott and Patricia Barber. But even then, from the vantage point of the world jazz community, ...

LIVE FROM PHILADELPHIA

Tord Gustavsen with Simin Tander and Jarle Vespestad at Fringe Arts

Read "Tord Gustavsen with Simin Tander and Jarle Vespestad at Fringe Arts" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Tord Gustavsen (with Simin Tander and Jarle Vespestad) Fringe Arts jny: Philadelphia, PA June 20, 2016 The music of this trio project is “a mystical and spiritual journey," Tord Gustavsen declared early in the set during his first-ever appearance in Philadelphia, an endeavor about “finding the divine light within ourselves instead of looking somewhere outside." He's self-effacingly quiet and unassuming at the microphone, which is no surprise to anyone familiar with his ...

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Tord Gustavsen with Simin Tander & Jarle Vespestad: What was said

Read "What was said" reviewed by Ian Patterson

An exciting new trio sees Tord Gustavsen and Jarle Vespestad combine with German-Afghan singer Simin Tander to submit Norwegian church music to the push and pull of improvisation and the spell of thirteenth century Persian Sufi mystic, Jalal al-Din Rumi's poetry. What might seem like an esoteric experiment, in fact follows logical currents. Gustavsen's ensembles have often exhibited folkloric colors, while Tander's unique improvisational idiom on her debut Wagma (Neuklang, 2011) and her Pashto-sung arrangements of Afghan poems on Where ...

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Tord Gustavsen with Simin Tander & Jarle Vespestad: What was said

Read "What was said" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

What was said introduces a new trio from Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen, featuring German-Afghan vocalist Simin Tander, with the support of longtime collaborator drummer Jarle Vespestad (who has played on all of Gustavsen's previous ECM recordings). The inspiration for the program was the tradition of Norwegian church music, but it is explored in a most untraditional way. The most obvious difference is the polyglot approach to the sung languages. Gustavson's interest in Sufi poetry and enjoyment of the sound of ...

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Brisbane International Jazz Festival 2015

Read "Brisbane International Jazz Festival 2015" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Brisbane International Jazz Festival Various locations jny:Brisbane, Australia June 3-8, 2015 Celebrating its third edition, the Brisbane International Jazz Festival may be one of Australia's youngest jazz festivals but the state of Queensland is no stranger to jazz. The non-profit organisation Jazz Queensland has been curating concerts, developing audiences and working with media and promotors to develop a sustainable jazz community in Australia's second largest state since the early 1980s. The BIJF, which ...

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Tord Gustavsen Quartet: Extended Circle

Read "Extended Circle" reviewed by Geannine Reid

Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen continues to evolve the amalgamation of classical, pop and jazz languages into a cohesive modern jazz sound. Gustavsen has released six albums on ECM Records with his ensemble and trio; Changing Places (2003), The Ground (2005), Being There (2007), Restored, Returned (2009), The Well (2012) and Extended Circle (2014). Gustavsen has won the Norwegian Grammy Awards (Spellemannsprisen) and numerous other awards and prizes. Gustavsen spent many years focusing on the piano trio format, but since 2011, ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Tord Gustavsen Quartet: Extended Circle

Read "Tord Gustavsen Quartet: Extended Circle" reviewed by John Kelman

The evolution of Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen and his relationship with ECM Records has always been more about expansion rather than linear forward motion. The closing sentence of an All About Jazz review of The Well (2012), in fact, says it all: “ If Changing Places [2003] announced an important new pianist on the international stage, nearly a decade later Gustavsen's The Well reaffirms a trajectory which may move forward in circumspect increments, but move forward it does, with the ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Tord Gustavsen: The Richness of Simplicity

Read "Tord Gustavsen: The Richness of Simplicity" reviewed by Adriana Carcu

The quintessential quality of Tord Gustavsen's The Well (ECM), released at the beginning of 2012, immediately received elated reactions from jazz lovers and critics alike. Entwining a complex and very well-structured succession of moods, the album traverses the territories allotted to classical music and jazz, reaching far beyond those and leading the listener into a self-revealing experience of the most sensitive quality.Conducted just before a March, 2012 concert in Heidelberg, Germany's Holy Ghost Church, this interview represents a ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Tord Gustavsen Quartet: The Well

Read "Tord Gustavsen Quartet: The Well" reviewed by John Kelman

Tord Gustavsen Quartet The Well ECM Records 2012 Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen may not have attained the level of success, say, of a Keith Jarrett or Chick Corea with his 2003 ECM debut, Changing Places, but it clearly struck a popular chord, as well as garnering no shortage of critical acclaim. Subsequent touring around the world, including a number of North American dates, honed the trio that would subsequently release The Ground (2005) and ...

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Tord Gustavsen Ensemble: Restored, Returned

Read "Restored, Returned" reviewed by Ian Patterson

A spare beauty has characterized all of pianist Tord Gustavsen's trio recordings, and in this sense Restored and Returned is a natural continuation of his musical journey, with space and subtle dynamics characterizing these intimate compositions. What sets this recording apart from his most recent efforts is mainly the addition of vocalist Kristen Asbjørnsen, who brings a strongly personal, husky blues tone to the tunes she interprets, based on the poetry of W.H. Auden. Whether in duo, trio or quartet ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tord Gustavsen Ensemble: Restored, Returned

Read "Restored, Returned" reviewed by John Kelman

With three albums mining a seemingly narrow area--and proving just how broad that territory really--Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen changes gears with Restored, Returned. Abandoning the longstanding trio that, with Changing Places (ECM, 2003), The Ground (ECM, 2005), and Being There (ECM, 2007), brought him greater international acclaim, Restored's quintet remains relatively introspective in tone. Still, with singer Kristin Asbjørnsen and saxophonist Tore Brunborg--whose recent Lucid Grey (DRAVLE, 2009) received its own share of well-deserved attention--Gustavsen's palette is expanded, allowing him ...


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