Svensson's trio continues to grow and expand within its original format, as Strange Place for Snow
attests. EST's music reminds of the happier days of Keith Jarrett's early (pre-Koln Concert
) career. The great enjoyment in the cohesion and interplay between the three musicians is palpable, whether the music is a ballad, a gently rocking piece of updated funk or a straight jazz number. The understanding of each person's role is one of the keys to this music's strong identity: these guys really play for each other, thereby paradoxically freeing themselves to some deliciously inventive music-making. Svensson himself is not a particularly busy improviser, preferring to guide the music rather than garrulously dominate it. Each is given a proper shape: every detail has been thought through, with Ahmad Jamal-like clarity, prior to performance.
Just to show they've not lost their nerve, either, the band five minutes but in fact then has three minutes of silence before ploughing into 10 extra minutes of grinding, guitar-led metal machine music and slow fade. This album will only accelerate the already impressively swift ascent of this trio to international heavyweight status. --Keith Shadwick
It is widely accepted today that European jazz has developed its own unique vocabulary alongside its Afro-American counterpart, and E.S.T. are an exceptional example. THE ESBJORN SVENSSON TRIO, or E.S.T. as they are known internationally, have taken their musical development several steps further with this release, at the same time retaining the strong link with the Swedish tradition that has become famous in the jazz field. The results are a structually unified album in which the personal sound of the group has become more intense and projects an even greater depth, thus reaching new musical heights. Welcome to E.S.T. country! ESBJORN SVENSSON (piano), DAN BERGLUND (double bass), MAGNUS OSTROM (drums).