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4.8 out of 5 stars15
4.8 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 April 2011
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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on 16 January 2011
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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on 15 January 2010
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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E.s.t. stands for Esbjorn Svensson Trio, Esbjorn Svensson being a Swedish pianist of some skill. He's often compared favourably with Keith Jarrett. Like Keith Jarrett he established a world class piano trio although they did move into a more electronic oevre on some albums. The trio is completed by Magnus Ostrom (d) and Dan Berglund (b). From their inception in 1991 they have entertained audiences with their magnificent performances, both live and on record until the unfortunate death of Svensson in a SCUBA diving accident in 2008.
This retrospective contains 13 tracks taken from seven of their magnificent albums to give a fair view of the range of their work. Not in any way a substitute for the actual albums in their entirety but a jolly good summary. For the newcomer to this truly world class trio, this album is a fine initial investment...though it will undoubtedly entice you to purchase more!
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on 24 November 2013
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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on 12 July 2011
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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on 18 September 2014
Didn`t know what to expect as only heard this trio a few days previous on radio for first time but so glad got the Cd really great music.
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on 25 February 2015
I heard 7 days of running on jazz FM and just had to buy the album, I enjoyed almost every track
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on 17 May 2015
Nice, solid timeless jazz music
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on 25 March 2015
Wonderful selection of tunes.
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