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Retrospective - The Very Best of E.S.T. [CD]

Esbjorn Svensson Trio Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 11.33 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Retrospective - The Very Best of E.S.T. + 301 - e.s.t. [Esbjorn Svensson Trio] + Strange Place for Snow
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Product details

  • Audio CD (5 Oct 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Act
  • ASIN: B002EC392I
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,665 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

BBC Review

It’s only 18 months since Swedish pianist Esbjorn Svensson died in a diving accident, but it seems as if the tragedy stretches further in time. How so? Because E.S.T, the trio that also comprised double bassist Dan Berglund and drummer Magnus Ostrom, had made such an impact on the European jazz scene that its absence has left an unfilled gap that heightens the nostalgia for what they achieved over 17 years. It’s a little known fact being that the group was born in 1991, even though its breakthrough, From Gagarin’s Point of View, came in 1998.

The title track of said album kicks off this compilation and forcefully makes it clear why E.S.T reached beyond a jazz audience. They had songs. Hooks. Themes fit for radio purpose. They were often ethereal and gentle, their contours modelled on the classical music that Svensson had so thoroughly absorbed alongside his education as an improvising musician, and at times these melodies hovered on the edge of easy listening, their trajectory understated enough to work as incidental music. Yet E.S.T’s output was equally defined by the kind of musicianship that saw both Berglund and Ostrom pass impressively pithy comment on a chord sequence or rhythmic cycle to effectively lift the band’s aesthetic beyond the trite even if their form was accessible, something that jazz moral custodians often treat as a vice when, if well wrought, it can be a virtue.

Owing an obvious debt to Keith Jarrett’s early 70s folk but not folk, rock but beyond rock sensibilities, E.S.T was well versed in pop culture and contemporary technology, be it the snakish, electronic shimmer around the piano or the quivering, curvaceous flange on the bass, and they used such strategies well. Their sleek ambient and funk-rock forays are pleasing rather than truly overwhelming though, and it is hard to escape the feeling they could have achieved more had they emboldened the sonic starkness, if not wildness, at which they often picked. A hip hop producer could have been the key. Posthumous remixes might still open stylistic doors. --Kevin Le Gendre

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Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fitting Epitaph. 20 April 2011
Format:Audio CD
I had been aware of E.S.T. for quite a while, but had never bought any of their albums and was moved to buy this after the tragic death of their leader. At the time it seemed like a very moving tribute and it was difficult to be objective about this. However, with a certain distance, it now looks like the best "epitaph" that Esbjorn Svensson could have had.

The music says it all and you start with the incredibly poignant "From Gagarin's Point of View" which is sad but beautiful - simple but eloquent. As an opener it is simply breathtaking in context and never fails to move me.

The album moves on to livelier territory and at times you have an acoustic version of Drum 'n Bass - fast rhythmic workouts that are exciting and exhilerating. While the Piano,Double Bass and Drums trio is a classic Jazz lineup - generally associated with sophisticated but gentle music - EST can rock out and they introduce effects in a subtle but effective manner.

The sound is always top quality and the instruments are perfectly recorded - the acoustic interplay of the group is the core of their ethic. But there are effects on the bass which add interest and bring that to the foreground, as just as much a solo instrument, as the piano.

There are tunes here that really stay with you and some great grooves, as well as an approach to improvising that is unique to these players.

The music here is from 1999 to 2008 - so it's the later part of their career and certainly their most mature and well-recorded. This gives the package a consistency of quality and feel, which makes it more like a single album than a compilation.

There really could not be a better introduction to their studio work than this and possibly not a better tribute to a great talent who will be sorely missed.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't rate this band highly enough. 16 Jan 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I can't rate this band highly enough. They cover wide and varied musical terrain with the same laser-beam eye for detail, grace and interest. They are a world class quality outfit, in days when this is a very rare phenomenon. All virtuoso players in their own right, their piano, double-bass and drums mix is a wonderfully crafted eclectic blend of contemporary musical energy. They don't sound like a jazz band. At times feel-good, at times edgy, at times industrial, at times sublime, the range of emotional terrain is vast. So too the range of influences. I purchased four E.S.T albums as Xmas presents for my brother this year, principally because I couldn't figure out which one to get (because they're all so damned good)! I was blown away by all of them. This 'Best of' is a great place to start, however, a great introduction to some of their better known masterpieces. You won't be disappointed!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars become addicted 15 Jan 2010
By Ian
Be warned if you buy this it will cost you a lot of money. You will find yourself shelling out for every E.S.T composition you can find. I bought this on Vinyl in honour of Esbjörn Svensson the leader of this wonderful trio.Sadley he tragically died in a scuba diving accident in 2008 robbing the music world of so much more to come.Retrospective is a kind of `best of' however all his music is `best' & you will chop and change your favourites as you discover the music. I had the pleasure of seeing E.S.T live in Edinburgh a few years ago, make your next E.S.T fix their live album .For me this is jazz at its finest thanks for the sounds Esbjörn we miss you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nice! 24 Nov 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Don't take my word for it (why would you?) - buy this great collection from EST. I heard them first on Cerys R6M show and haven't stopped listening since.
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5.0 out of 5 stars E.S.T at their best! 12 July 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It is called the very best of and I cannot disagree with their own description. A very enjoyable disc to relax to after a hard day in the office.
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