All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

604

Esbjorn Svensson Trio (E.S.T.): Seven Days of Falling

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Now in their tenth year, the Swedish piano trio e.s.t. has gradually evolved into a significant force on the European scene, playing to packed houses and releasing records that figure on jazz and pop charts. Why they've never managed to achieve the same level of success in North America is a mystery. The more elegant alternative to the Bad Plus, they share a similar penchant for song-like structure, but with a more delicate approach, clearly rooted in Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, as opposed to the Bad Plus' roots in Thelonious Monk. They even shared labels, with Columbia releasing the '01 compilation Somewhere Else Before as well as their compelling '02 effort, Strange Place for Snow.

Sadly, they mustn't have moved enough copies to satisfy Columbia's powers that be, because their most recent disk, Seven Days of Falling , has remained noticeably absent from the shelves in North America for nearly a year. Finally 215 Music has stepped up to the plate to release the disk along with a bonus DVD containing four songs from their European live concert video, Live in Stockholm , and that makes the package as good an introduction to the group as any, as well as satisfying existing fans who have been waiting for this album for many months.

With Seven Days of Falling e.s.t., consisting of pianist Esbjörn Svensson, bassist Dan Berglund and percussionist Magnus Öström, moves even further towards song form, and ups the ante in terms of what has traditionally been more subtle electronic processing. "Mingle in the Mincing- Machine" starts with a fuzz bass and clangy industrial-sounding percussion that drives a bouncy melody before moving into a rhythmical ostinato over which Berglund delivers a raucous solo. Svensson's solo is more subtly treated, with light washes in the background. Still, while the electronics are more overt than before, e.s.t. manages to use them in a refreshing way that adds to the music without completely defining it.

Contrasting up-tempo tunes like the bass-driven "Did They Ever Tell Cousteau" and the weighty "O.D.R.I.P.," the album also has its share of tender moments, including the sparse opener, "Ballad for the Unborn," and the poignant "Believe, Beleft, Below," which reappears as a bonus hidden track, with vocals from an unknown singer. Regardless of the context, the constant throughout is Svensson's innate lyricism and ability to weave a convincing story with his improvisations, as on "Elevation of Love," which leans towards a Metheny/Mays writing style.

The fifty-minute concert footage on the DVD, which also features a music video and thirteen- minute interview, are all tunes taken from Somewhere Else Before , but in concert e.s.t. takes these simple pieces, including "Dodge the Dodo," the closest thing they've had to a "hit," and develop them into lengthier excursions that demonstrate just how strong they are, individually and collectively.

An excellent package that highlights where they've been and where they're going, the North American release of Seven Days of Falling is an event that has been all too long in coming.


Track Listing: Ballad for the Unborn; Seven Days of Falling; Mingle in the Mincing-Machine; Evening in Atlantis; Did They Ever Tell Cousteau?; Believe Beleft Below; Elevation of Love; In My Garage; Why She Couldn't Come; O.D.R.I.P.

Personnel: Esbjörn Svensson: piano, keyboards; Dan Berglund: double-bass; Magnus Öström: drums, percussion.

Title: Seven Days of Falling | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: 215 Music/Munich Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Kinship CD/LP/Track Review
Kinship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2018
Read Ask For Chaos CD/LP/Track Review
Ask For Chaos
by Gareth Thompson
Published: August 18, 2018
Read Homage to a Dreamer CD/LP/Track Review
Homage to a Dreamer
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: August 18, 2018
Read Live At Cafe Amores CD/LP/Track Review
Live At Cafe Amores
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2018
Read Passion Reverence Transcendence CD/LP/Track Review
Passion Reverence Transcendence
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: August 17, 2018
Read Inner Voice CD/LP/Track Review
Inner Voice
by Don Phipps
Published: August 17, 2018
Read "To the Bone" CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "Life Anthem" CD/LP/Track Review Life Anthem
by Troy Dostert
Published: May 31, 2018
Read "Starebaby" CD/LP/Track Review Starebaby
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 6, 2018
Read "Evergreen" CD/LP/Track Review Evergreen
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 5, 2017
Read "Wheelhouse" CD/LP/Track Review Wheelhouse
by David A. Orthmann
Published: July 14, 2018
Read "Non é Prohibito" CD/LP/Track Review Non é Prohibito
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 13, 2018