E.S.T. Live '95 Live
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EST Live offers an hour of intense, virtuosic, probing music that recalls at times Bill Evans, at times Chick Corea but above all the ecstatic piano style developed by Keith Jarrett in the 1970s. The Swedish trio of Esbjorn Svensson (piano), Dan Berglund (bass) and Magnus Ostrom (drums) flow freely and naturally from reflective, suspended balladry ("The Day After")" into fierce, combative, high-speed workouts ("Like Wash It or Something") where Svensson combines sustained invention with unerring articulation and relentless swing. Svensson always stresses that he is part of a trio and that the music is entirely a team product; this may be slightly questionable, since his work stands out so clearly from the mix, but Berglund and Ostrom are empathetic partners at every turn, shadowing Svensson's initiatives like a reflex and leading the action when the time comes--witness Berglund's unfussily melodic break on "Say Hello To Mr D (to Mr S)". The album charts the trio's progress around Sweden in 1995 and comes with a bonus 10-minute CD featuring "Dodge The Dodo" from Montreux in 1999. The trio's music has evolved, but the quality is constant. --Mark Gilbert
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EST Live '95 is a much more traditional outing by the Swedish piano/bass/drums trio than what they have been doing more recently (2000 - 2008). The set is pretty much 100% accoustic and doesn't really feature a whole lot (if any) bowing from the bassist and there isn't really any tricks like muting piano strings and that sort of thing. The one exception to this is the inclusion of Dodge the Dodo from a 1999 set. That said, this is still a great set. There is telepathic communication between the musicians, great solos, and lots of clever interactions between the members of the group. It is very interesting to hear EST in a much more conventional and traditional context. Highly recommended for any fans of albums with a piano/bass/drums lineup.
Happy Heads and Crazy Feds: This song starts of with a Charlie Browish theme. Svensson solos first with a real nice piano solo, then Berglund delivers a killer bass solo that really stomps on low notes. This leads into another nice solo by Svensson. Nice theme, nice solos, great song.
The Rube Thing: This is a fast past trio romp. Svensson is just all over the place. Lots of exploration here, and Berglund's bass solo is once again out of this world and features just perfect comping and backup support from Svensson. There is even a cool call and answer section between the two musicians and a section where Svensonn and drummer Ostrom trade breaks. This really is trio magic.
Like Wash it or Something: This song starts of as a fast pace piece, but in the middle of the song it breaks down into a really odd but fascinating bass and piano doodle. (I realize doodle is not an official piano term, but I just can think of any other way to describe it). In some ways it sounds like a conversation between to computers. Very odd. Eventually it starts to pick up momentum and segues beautifully back into the main theme. Classic.