COMPOSERS: Espen Eriksen Trio
LABELS: Rune Grammofon
PERFORMER: Espen Eriksen (piano), Lars Tormod Jenset (bass), Andreas Bye (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: RCD 2096
Actually, they had me at the opening track, ‘Anthem’, a beautifully wrought melody from which Eriksen develops a languorous improvisation, an accurate taste of what is to come. All the compositions are by Eriksen, and they unfold as naturally as a flower in the sun.
That might suggest that the music is predictable and uninteresting, but not so. While there is little to startle or challenge, the album provides considerable reward for anyone who appreciates music that is skilfully conceived and superbly performed but which aims for the heart and aesthetic sense.
After ‘Grinde’, another gentle ballad, ‘In the Woods’ brings in a more explicit beat, a trend continued with ‘Masaka Tsara’ which spotlights Jenset’s rich bass. Eriksen gets almost funky. ‘Not Even in Brazil’ has a Latin-American tinge with a touch of Scandinavian darkness. And so it goes. You’ll be sorry to say goodbye when this luscious album ends. Barry Witherden