I am an absolute Keith Jarrett Trio fan, and bought this album based on reviews on Amazon. So when I listen to it the first time I could noy believe how beautifully this band manage the interplay between harmony and melody. The same day I order another 10 albums of EST, that is how good they are.
I have only recently discovered ESB - and I just love their music. I am no jazz expert or critic - I just listen with my ears and mind open - and I can only say that I enjoy this CD enormously. I will definitley get some more from Mr Svensson et al
This album from c1996 is unusual, possibly unique, in that every tune here is penned by Thelonious Monk, as opposed to Esbjorn Svensson the Swedish pianist, who, to my knowledge, has composed the music on all other albums. Svensson's trio is universally known as E.S.T., and comprises Svensson (p) with Dan Berglund (b) and Magnus Ostrom (d). On two tracks they are joined by a string quartet, an unusual addition for Monk's music. There are ten tracks in total, all well known to any follower of Monk. No attempt is made to parody Monk (impossible in any case); the tunes are played in the "house style"; rather gently. A valuable addition to the albums celebrating the music of the master; not to copy but to reinterpret.
This has been phenomenally successful in Svensson's native Sweden, and it is easy to hear why. This guy has real class, and as a trio the group is second to none. This is very exciting and innovative and remarkable and, well, you just have to own it really.
If you're a long-time lover of Thelonious Monk's music, you'll enjoy this interpretation of his unique style of innovative jazz. If you're already a fan of EST then this may be a way into other forms of jazz that obviously influenced Esbjorn Svensson. Either way, it's a very satisfactory hearing of the early career of the sadly late-lamented E.