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The Ground

The Ground

1 Jun 2007
3.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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  • Sample this album
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1
5:38
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2
4:17
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3
4:57
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4
5:15
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5
6:09
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6
5:35
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7
5:48
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8
5:49
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9
3:07
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10
2:03
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11
4:12
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12
7:16
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm not a big jazz fan but heard Tord Gustavsen on Late Junction and was blown away (or more wafted on a gentle breeze). This is an incredible album of soulful, controlled and wistful piano playing which will appeal to anyone looking to escape for an hour or so.
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I was fortunate enough to hear the trio play much of this music live at the Lichfield Festival. Two friends who are not great jazz fans enjoyed it as I did. The music is immensely approachable without being bland. It is subtle and inventive and highly atmospheric. I was intrigued to hear Tord Gustavsen introduce numbers such as 'Colours of Mercy' as hymns. The atmosphere they generate, both live and on disc is something close to contemplative worship. I strongly recommend this unusual and highly distinctive music.
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Format: Audio CD
I came upon this CD through recommendation at an Esbjorn Svensson Trio gig, and I have to say that it rewards the active listener. It may be slower and more introspective than the rest of the ECM output, but having a varied catalogue is obviously of great importance to record companies. If you're just going to buy it because it's on your favourite label, don't bother. If you like Scandinavian jazz (E.S.T., Eivind Aarset Trio, etc.) then buy this - and ignore the fact that they're not signed to ACT!
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this after hearing a classical concert pianist say she found Gustavsen inspirational. For her virtuoso playing should be emotional - its not all about flying finger theatrics - and Gustavsen delivers exactly that.
I just don't tire of this
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Format: Audio CD
Pianist Tord Gustavsen and his partners Harald Johnsen (bass) and Jarle Vespestad (drums) have staked out their own distinctive piece of ground in a land that straddles the borders between jazz, church music and conservatoire music. The Ground explores in more depth the territory that was first plotted out in the trio's first release, "Changing Places".

The Ground is a gorgeous set of pieces, some more churchy (The Ground), some more funky (Curtains Aside) and some more lyrical (Tears Transforming) but all played with warmth and faithful attention to the quality of touch as well as the quality of sound. And the loving attention the guys pay to what they're playing induces the same response in their audience. At a recent concert, I have never felt an audience pay such rapt attention. As my piano teacher (a performing harpsichordist) remarked, it's music that really draws you in.

All of the pieces have a clear melody, theme or riff that you can hum after a couple of listens. All are reflective, none is busy or challenging in a "pushing the boundaries" kind of way. A casual listener might even praise (or condemn) the whole thing as "easy listening", because it's certainly not hard. Yet it all challenges the listener to forget labels, comparisons and other mental fidgets, and to just open up and listen to the sounds unfold. There's a depth of beauty in here that I've found in few other places.

An easy comparison would be Keith Jarrett - easy but misleading. Tord Gustavsen is much closer in spirit to the majestic Abdullah Ibrahim.
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Format: Audio CD
Beautiful, inventive, introspective piano trio. Jazz chamber music. Excellent to listen to and grows with each hearing in my experience.
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My discovery of the year, first time I've considered the spaces between notes to be an integral part of the performance !
Love it or hate it - I tend towards the former.Working my way through the entire catelogue.
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