COMPOSERS: Esbjörn Svensson
ALBUM TITLE: 301
WORKS: Session works
PERFORMER: Esbjörn Svensson (piano), Dan Berglund (bass), Magnus Öström(drums)
CATALOGUE NO: ACT9029-2
The literal aftermath from pianist Esbjörn Svensson’s death in 2007 was two albums’ worth of rich studio material. Leucocyte was released in 2008 and now Berglund and Öström (with fourth trio member, the sound engineer Åke Linton) have put out their edit of the remaining tunes. Called 301 after the Sydney studio where the rehearsals took place, it is an intense, turbulent but also transcendental affair. EST’s creative method was to go deep together in improvised jams. Such sessions can be self-indulgent but the catharsis captured in 301 is abstract music that’s both involving and engaging.
Excoriating electronic effects and fuzzy rock riffs give way to melodic, meandering piano lines that become sharply crystalline; sonorous bass lines rumble under a surface of white noise. EST produced beautiful, emotionally powerful music before Svensson’s passing, but the 301 session still sounds uncannily like his own elegy.