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The Well


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Music

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Biography

For Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen, the title of his sixth album for ECM has a programmatic significance. Extended Circle refers, he says, to the completion of a “double circle” of trilogies: the first with the trio heard on Changing Places, The Ground and Being There, and the second with the quartet (formed inside the expanded ensemble of Restored, Returned in 2009 and then ... Read more in Amazon's Tord Gustavsen Store

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The Well + Extended Circle + Being There
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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 Jan. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ECM
  • ASIN: B0066GT7CE
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,611 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Prelude 2:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Playing 5:38£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Suite 8:22Album Only
Listen  4. Communion 4:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Circling 4:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Glasgow Intro 1:13£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. On Every Corner 5:14£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. The Well 5:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Communion, Var. 5:58£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Intuition 4:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Inside 4:16£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Two years after the album Restored, Returned introduced this line-up and with extensive touring behind them, on The Well the four musicians of the Tord Gustavsen Quartet really blossom as a band in a programme of new tunes by the Norwegian pianist. Sax player Tore Brunborg is given an important voice here, his melodic lines combining bluesy sonority and Nordic cry. Gently but effectively propelled by the subtle pulses of drummer Jarle Vespestad and bassist Mats Eilertsen, Gustavsen's gospel-tinged, unhurried piano playing displays a characteristic warmth and tenderness.

Tord Gustavsen's ideas for The Well began right after the release of Restored, Returned at the end of 2009. "It developed very gradually, the repertoire kept adding new aspects slowly. In the course of these years I also had two commissions to work on, which turned out to fit very naturally in the material for the album. So even though I feel that The Well has become a very unified and coherent album, it still is a mixture of songs written individually and of pieces written as a commission for the 2011 Cheltenham Jazz Festival and pieces for the Oslo International Church Music Festival."

Tord Gustavsen has been one of ECM's biggest selling artists over the past decade. Tord's debut CD Changing Places, the first of three trio albums with Jarle Vespestad on drums and the late Harald Johnsen on bass, immediately created a huge international audience for his music, attracted by its sublime beauty, his hummable melodies, and the seamless interplay of the musicians. The Ground and Being There were even more successful. Restored, Returned added the blues-inflected voice of Kristin Asbjørnsen on Tord's settings of the poetry of W.H. Auden.

Personnel: Tord Gustavsen (piano), Tore Brunborg (tenor saxophone), Mats Eilertsen (double-bass), Jarle Vespestad (drums)

Review

(4 stars) Gustavsen's signature ingredients...gospel playing, acres of open space, memorable melodies and a glistening delicacy of touch are all present. -- The Guardian, (John Fordham), February 17, 2012

(4 stars) The Well synthesises composer Gustavsen's high seriousness and groovy, gospel-tinged vamps...stately lullaby-themes given rhythmic momentum by Vespestad's drum'n'bassy whispers. -- The Independent On Sunday, (Phil Johnson), January 29, 2012

Enthusiasts of Gustavsen's spare, tender playing will find much to enjoy...quite possibly his most assured and satisfying recording to date. -- Jazz Journal, (John Adock), February 2012

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Ronald V. White on 24 Mar. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm relieved to discover that I am not alone in being disappointed in Restored, Returned, in which the vocals were a subtraction from the instrumental purity of the TG ensemble. The Well is truly a return to form, with the subtlety and intelligence that is a mark of a fine chamber ensemble, be it classical or jazz. The Well is a recording to savour -- and celebrate.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By degrant on 5 Feb. 2012
Format: Audio CD
More than an insignificant number of jazz aficionados have or have had a deep-felt antipathy towards Gustavsen for making music too perfect to be considered jazz. More fools them. Gustavsen's debut "Changing Places" was perfect - simple, profound, immediately recognisable, "the Ground" a more than worthy follow up but "Being There" (for all its excellence) saw Gustavsen at an impasse which broken, for better or worse by the release of the ambitious but flawed "Restored, Returned" by a quintet featuring the divisive vocals of Kristin Asbjørnsen.

"The Well" sees, for the first time, ECM showcase the Gustavsen Quartet, Asbjørnsen departed while saxophonist Tore Brunborg remains.

Opening "Prelude" is as bewitching as anything by Gustavsen - slow, suggestive but delicate and this sets the tone for the remainder of the album. Songs showcased in expanded form in concert over the last year or so now appear fully formed and focussed; none more so than title track "The Well" which epitomises Gustavsen's remarkable ability to create so much from so little - a flicker of cymbal, beguilingly simple piano line, understated and unshowy sax and, anchoring everything, stately bass.

While some might yearn for something more radical, I suspect Gustavsen has won back a number who expressed doubt after "Restored, Returned" and, hopefully, ever increasing numbers will appreciate a recording whose beauty is likely to be a barometer for much of 2012.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By david walls on 13 Feb. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
if you preferred the earlier tord gustavsen albums then you'll love this - with additional evocative sax - he seemed to have lost his way on his last outing but its back to form on this highly recommended album
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Finbar the looney on 4 Feb. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is going to be a good year for jazz,already we have seen excellent outings for Andy shepperd.The Portico quartet and now the latest offering from Tord Gustavsen.
This album is everything,and more that you can expect from the TGQ.It is stately,it is majestic,it is sublime,it is very melodic.
The roots of this album were started in 2009 and in the three years that have elapsed since then it has grown from an enigmatic pupae,into a beautiful butterfly.
There is not one note that seems out of place in this music at all,the tunes intertwine with each other and create a soundscape that is wonderous to hear.
The title track is absolutely beautiful,with exceptional playing from all.
Another great album for your consideration!!!
TORE BRUNBORG.....TENOR SAXAPHONE
TORD GUSTAVSEN......PIANO
MATS EILERTSEN.....DOUBLE BASS
JARLE VESPERSTAD.....DRUMS
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Erik on 28 Sept. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Superb. The quartet just gets better and better. It has been played and replayed countless times already. I'm already looking forward to the next one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KELLY heroes on 1 Mar. 2013
Format: Audio CD
Once again Gustavsen has produced an album of real quality perfect for long hot Summer days lazing about.Beautiful textures-so tranquil and serene but with the menace of Brunborgs sax always never far from the mix.Another quality album from ECM yet again! The Well.Superb.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Martin Thornton on 15 Feb. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Understatedly beautiful, Impressively edgy, if you’ve just had a fall out and are angry, or you find
Yourself in middle of the woods fearful this will pull you through.
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