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Tord Gustavsen Ensemble at Royal Northern College of Music

David McLean By

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Tord Gustavsen Ensemble
Royal Northern College of Music
Manchester, England
October 21, 2009


With the imminent release of Restored, Returned (2009, ECM) exclusively in the UK, Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen makes his British live debut with his new ensemble at Manchester's Royal Northern College of Music as part of a set of exclusive dates throughout the country. Returning percussionist Jarle Vespestad is joined by fellow esteemed countrymen bassist Mats Eilertsen and, augmenting the original trio setting, saxophonist Tore Brunborg to round out Gustavsen's new group. Delivering a program of older trio material and selections from the new album, the quartet weaved a hypnotic spell of space, texture, heartfelt emotion and nuanced expression on those fortunate enough to behold.


Beginning with a spellbinding rendition of "Tears Transforming" from The Ground (2004, ECM), the opening crystalline notes ringing out like a lost siren call enveloping the theater, it became immediately apparent as the rest of the quartet surrounded Tord's haunting melodic figure what a stellar line-up Gustavsen's ensemble contains.


Mats Eilertsen is more than just an adequate replacement for former bassist Harald Johnsen and will be familiar to ECM listeners through is work with both Jacob Young and {{Thomas Str

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