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Esbjorn Svensson Trio (e.s.t.): Strange Place For Snow

Jim Santella By

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Classic acoustic jazz need not be a mirror image of our record collections. The Esbjörn Svensson Trio proves that the art form can sound as fresh and new as it was when Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, Marian McPartland, Oscar Peterson and Billy Taylor first began reaching out in new directions. Svensson, Dan Berglund and Magnus Öström swing with clarity of feeling and an intimate, soul-stirring attitude. Their compositions on this, the trio's 5th recording venture, remind us that jazz is about class and ethical elements of style. There are no gimmicks; just eloquent music that casts a spell. The trio prefers to place their musical phrases one over the other, as if drifting on a gentle wind. They give smooth jazz its original meaning: creative energy that has been harnessed to ensure that its beauty remains the only focus of the session (unlike most of what rules the radio airwaves these days). Since "When God Created the Coffeebreak" and "Spunky Sprawl" contain more animation than the rest of the session, they tend to recall the innovative sound and spirit of the Modern Jazz Quartet.

Track Listing: The Message; Serenade for the Renegade; Strange Place for Snow; Behind the Yashmak; Bound for the Beauty of the South; Years of Yearning; When God Created the Coffeebreak; Spunky Sprawl; Carcrash.

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

Title: Strange Place For Snow | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Columbia Records

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