Tord Gustavsen Trio – The Ground
COMPOSERS: Tord Gustavsen Trio
WORKS: Tears Transforming, Being There, Twins, Curtains Aside, Colours Of Mercy, Sentiment, Kneeling Down, Reach Out And Touch It, Edges Of Happiness, Interlude, Token Of Tango, Ground
PERFORMER: Tord Gustavsen, Harald Johnsen, Jarle Vespestad
CATALOGUE NO: 476 1938
After several years in singer Silje Nergaard’s band, pianist Tord Gustavsen now has a trio album to offer which has much to commend it. His is a style full of implied meanings and inverted historical references, so while his respect for and fascination with the jazz tradition are both highly apparent, he eschews pastiche in favour of gentle hints and understated influences.
This all usive approach prevents this elegant sequence of compositions – none of which is over-long – from slithering into the morass of quiet-jazz-for-people-who-don’t-like-jazz-much. His experience as, effectively, an accompanist does show through occasionally, in that more than a few of these compositions demonstrate a certain reliance on song-based structures.
That said, much instrumental jazz is derived from song forms anyway, so this should hardly constitute a criticism. Contemplative but in no way spineless, introspective or morbid, this is a fine recording that rewards repeated listening. Roger Thomas