I’ve previously written about the rich Jazz scene in Scandinavia, and particularly about Tord Gustavsen, reviewing his album The Ground here.
Gustavsen’s trio has a very particular style, minimal, melodic, and fascinating.
So I was very excited when I saw that Gustavsen’s latest album was just released, and thanks to ECM finally allowing streaming, I could sample it immediately.
Tord Gustavsen Trio: The Other Side (ECM 2018)
I wasn’t a universal fan of some of the albums Gustavsen released in the last years, but with his latest album, I’m fully back on board!
The first thing you notice is the cover art, while still in the typical ECM abstract art style, they’ve changed from the dark blue tones of most of the former albums to a bright orange. Does this mean the music is more orange as well?
Well, actually not. This is very typical Gustavsen style, very much reminding me of what I liked so much about The Ground. Let’s take as an example urack 3 of the album, Re-Melt. It starts with a syncopated rhythm by Jarle Vespestad on drums, and Sigurd Hole on bass. Gustavsen joins a bit later, weaving a beautiful, subdued melody over the rhythm. None of the music on this album is ever over the top, but it will always be one thing: very atmospheric. It always just unfolds slowly, over time.
Recording quality, as usual on ECM, is very good, actually in this particular case it is again quite spectacular.
Check out this album. It may not be for everyone, but if you like this minimalist Nordics style, you really should not hold back!
My rating: 4 stars