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Tord Gustavsen Trio|Opening

Opening

Tord Gustavsen Trio

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Four years after Tord Gustavsen returned to proper trio recording on The Other Side, his personnel shifted again. The pianist abandoned the format for a decade after the death of bassist Harald Johnsen. He returned to trio recording with bassist Sigurd Hole on 2018's globally acclaimed The Other Side. After touring for more than a year, Hole left. Even as the pandemic raged, Gustavsen sought to maintain the creative momentum that renewed focus on the trio set in motion. To record Opening, he enlisted veteran bassist/electronicist Steinar Raknes, a respected first-call Norwegian whose résumé includes stints with Michael Brecker, Chick Corea, Bobby McFerrin, and many others. The first ten tracks are all Gustavsen originals. A shimmering cymbal, resonant tom-toms, melodic bassline, and tentative piano notes introduce "The Circle." Gustavsen's melody is repetitive, shifting from mode to harmonic lyricism with melodic fills from Raknes. Drummer Jarle Vespestad's timekeeping is appended by gloriously sparse, yet colorful accents. The syncopated lyricism in the bridge is breathtaking. "The Longing," at just a shade over two-and-a-half minutes, is a hymn-like interlude with one of the most compelling interactions between pianist and bassist on the record. On "Shepherd's Song," an ambient electronic drone supports a nearly bluesy lower-middle register piano statement as Vespestad rumbles on ride cymbals and snare. When Raknes enters with an appended harmonic vamp, Gustavsen engages in post-bop reverie. A mournful piano and electronically enhanced arco bassline introduce the nearly Gothic "Helensburgh Tango." The formal melodic exchange between bass and piano is deeply rooted in Argentinian milonga, but layers of reverb and constantly rolling snares add an elegiac dimension. While "Re-Opening" opens on a drifting series of modal drones and chords, its fluid pace unfolds circularly. An elliptical synth resembling an electric guitar's whine showers the front line as Vespestad gently urges it on. At seven minutes, "Stream," is an elliptical ballad that flirts with gospel and classical music before its modernist jazz persona emerges. The dark, foreboding, suspenseful "Ritual" is almost rockist. Gustavsen lays into electronically treated lower register chordal vamps as Vespestad employs snare, hi-hat, and kick drum to underscore the pianist's momentum. Raknes' bass is so electronically enhanced it resembles a distorted bluesy electric guitar wailing. Gustavsen's short solo underscores the rippling drama with telegraph key precision. The set closes with readings of two compositions by 20th century Norwegian composers: The short, expressionistic reading of Geirr Tveitt's "Floytelat" (The Flute), bridges the classical, and cinematic traditions (complete with spaghetti western-style whistling). The closer, Egil Hovland's "Var Sterk, Min Sjel," reflects the gentle minor-key hymnody of Gustavsen's Lutheran background, even as he extrapolates on it in the language of contemporary gospel and modal post-bop. Opening incorporates information from each of his previous trio incarnations then extrapolates them to create this strange yet welcoming inquiry into a jazz piano trio's highly textured encounter and dialogue with the elliptical nature of time, space, tone, and color.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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Opening

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1
The Circle
00:03:56

Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tord Gustavsen, Composer, Piano, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Tord Gustavsen Trio, MainArtist - Jarle Vespestad, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Steinar Raknes, Double Bass, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Stefano Amerio, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

2
Findings / Visa från Rättvik
00:03:22

Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tord Gustavsen, Composer, Piano, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Tord Gustavsen Trio, MainArtist - Jarle Vespestad, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Steinar Raknes, Double Bass, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Stefano Amerio, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

3
Opening
00:03:25

Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tord Gustavsen, Composer, Piano, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Tord Gustavsen Trio, MainArtist - Jarle Vespestad, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Steinar Raknes, Double Bass, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Stefano Amerio, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

4
The Longing
00:02:35

Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tord Gustavsen, Composer, Piano, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Tord Gustavsen Trio, MainArtist - Jarle Vespestad, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Steinar Raknes, Double Bass, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Stefano Amerio, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

5
Shepherd Song
00:05:42

Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tord Gustavsen, Composer, Piano, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Tord Gustavsen Trio, MainArtist - Jarle Vespestad, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Steinar Raknes, Double Bass, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Stefano Amerio, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

6
Helensburgh Tango
00:04:20

Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tord Gustavsen, Composer, Piano, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Tord Gustavsen Trio, MainArtist - Jarle Vespestad, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Steinar Raknes, Double Bass, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Stefano Amerio, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

7
Re-Opening
00:05:27

Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tord Gustavsen, Composer, Piano, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Tord Gustavsen Trio, MainArtist - Jarle Vespestad, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Steinar Raknes, Double Bass, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Stefano Amerio, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

8
Findings II
00:02:03

Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tord Gustavsen, Composer, Piano, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Tord Gustavsen Trio, MainArtist - Jarle Vespestad, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Steinar Raknes, Double Bass, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Stefano Amerio, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

9
Stream
00:07:03

Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tord Gustavsen, Composer, Piano, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Tord Gustavsen Trio, MainArtist - Jarle Vespestad, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Steinar Raknes, Double Bass, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Stefano Amerio, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

10
Ritual
00:03:56

Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tord Gustavsen, Composer, Piano, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Tord Gustavsen Trio, MainArtist - Jarle Vespestad, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Steinar Raknes, Double Bass, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Stefano Amerio, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

11
Fløytelåt / The Flute
00:03:44

Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tord Gustavsen, Composer, Piano, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Tord Gustavsen Trio, MainArtist - Geirr Tveitt, Composer - Jarle Vespestad, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Steinar Raknes, Double Bass, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Stefano Amerio, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

12
Vær sterk, min sjel
00:03:03

Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tord Gustavsen, Piano, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Tord Gustavsen Trio, MainArtist - Egil Hovland, Composer - Jarle Vespestad, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Steinar Raknes, Double Bass, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Stefano Amerio, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

Albumbeschreibung

Four years after Tord Gustavsen returned to proper trio recording on The Other Side, his personnel shifted again. The pianist abandoned the format for a decade after the death of bassist Harald Johnsen. He returned to trio recording with bassist Sigurd Hole on 2018's globally acclaimed The Other Side. After touring for more than a year, Hole left. Even as the pandemic raged, Gustavsen sought to maintain the creative momentum that renewed focus on the trio set in motion. To record Opening, he enlisted veteran bassist/electronicist Steinar Raknes, a respected first-call Norwegian whose résumé includes stints with Michael Brecker, Chick Corea, Bobby McFerrin, and many others. The first ten tracks are all Gustavsen originals. A shimmering cymbal, resonant tom-toms, melodic bassline, and tentative piano notes introduce "The Circle." Gustavsen's melody is repetitive, shifting from mode to harmonic lyricism with melodic fills from Raknes. Drummer Jarle Vespestad's timekeeping is appended by gloriously sparse, yet colorful accents. The syncopated lyricism in the bridge is breathtaking. "The Longing," at just a shade over two-and-a-half minutes, is a hymn-like interlude with one of the most compelling interactions between pianist and bassist on the record. On "Shepherd's Song," an ambient electronic drone supports a nearly bluesy lower-middle register piano statement as Vespestad rumbles on ride cymbals and snare. When Raknes enters with an appended harmonic vamp, Gustavsen engages in post-bop reverie. A mournful piano and electronically enhanced arco bassline introduce the nearly Gothic "Helensburgh Tango." The formal melodic exchange between bass and piano is deeply rooted in Argentinian milonga, but layers of reverb and constantly rolling snares add an elegiac dimension. While "Re-Opening" opens on a drifting series of modal drones and chords, its fluid pace unfolds circularly. An elliptical synth resembling an electric guitar's whine showers the front line as Vespestad gently urges it on. At seven minutes, "Stream," is an elliptical ballad that flirts with gospel and classical music before its modernist jazz persona emerges. The dark, foreboding, suspenseful "Ritual" is almost rockist. Gustavsen lays into electronically treated lower register chordal vamps as Vespestad employs snare, hi-hat, and kick drum to underscore the pianist's momentum. Raknes' bass is so electronically enhanced it resembles a distorted bluesy electric guitar wailing. Gustavsen's short solo underscores the rippling drama with telegraph key precision. The set closes with readings of two compositions by 20th century Norwegian composers: The short, expressionistic reading of Geirr Tveitt's "Floytelat" (The Flute), bridges the classical, and cinematic traditions (complete with spaghetti western-style whistling). The closer, Egil Hovland's "Var Sterk, Min Sjel," reflects the gentle minor-key hymnody of Gustavsen's Lutheran background, even as he extrapolates on it in the language of contemporary gospel and modal post-bop. Opening incorporates information from each of his previous trio incarnations then extrapolates them to create this strange yet welcoming inquiry into a jazz piano trio's highly textured encounter and dialogue with the elliptical nature of time, space, tone, and color.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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