Tord Gustavsen – piano
Jarle Vespestad – drums
Steinar Raknes – double bass
Louise Lavoll – sound design
Norwegian pianist and composer Tord Gustavsen’s music continues to evolve, teasing out beautiful melodies and subtle rhythmic movements from a gentle and profound sonic space.
In spring 2022, Tord released his ninth album with the iconic ECM Records. An album combining both his mesmeric original compositions and hymns, this is music for the soul.
Gustavsen’s earlier trio albums had a quietness and grounded sensuality that immediately earned him a large international audience. Changing Places, Gustavsen’s 2003 recording debut with his trio was ECM’s most successful debut in a decade. His 2018 album The Other Side embraced again the full-sounding simplicity of the ‘Nordic Blues’, setting it against expansive harmonic landscapes.
Playing music from his new album, as well as material from previous releases, Tord is joined by his regular drummer Jarle Vespestad and introduces bassist Steinar Raknes, adding strong, sensuous musical foundations and virtuous soloistic playing, taking the trio to yet another level. Sound design by Louise Lavoll adds subtle electronics and sound textures.
“a trilogy [that] could be the most essential jazz document of the last ten years. Sublime.” (The Independent)
“.. a delicious collage of hypnotic grooving, softly stroked gospel themes.” (The Guardian)
"every note is perfectly placed" (The Times, UK)
Tord Gustavsen (piano)
Pianist Tord Gustavsen has released eight critically acclaimed albums on ECM Records with his trio and extended ensemble. Before starting his solo career, Tord had already been an important part of the Norwegian jazz scene for several years. His playing has formed a cornerstone in projects featuring some of the finest Norwegian singers, including Solveig SleIahjell, Silje Nergaard and Kristin Asbjørnsen. The urge for individuality fuses with acutely attentive listening in creative interplay, making Tord a very special experience both as a soloist and as an ensemble player. His way of conversing jazz history with 'Nordic' reflective moods and lyrical beauty brings about an intriguing voice on today's music scene.
Tord Gustavsen tours world-wide with his ensemble in various formats, playing at major festivals and concert halls in Australia, USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Poland, Turkey, Japan, Korea, and the Scandinavian countries. He has received numerous awards including the Norwegian Grammy (Spellemannsprisen), CHOC critical awards (France), Bell Award for best international Jazz Album (Australia), Recording of the Month in Stereophile Magazine (USA), Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German), as well as NOPAs Musikkpris for best Norwegian jazz composition in 2010. He has had commissioned works for Vossajazz, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Oslo Jazz Festival, Oslo International Church Music Festival, and Nidaros Domkor.
Jarle Vespestad (drums)
The kind of sublime minimalism Jarle stands for has very few if any parallels in the world of drummers, and still he is also really groovy in his own way. His lyrical emphasis; and the highly responsive interplay developed between Tord and Jarle over the years; are essential elements of the band’s musical texture. Jarle also plays with key Scandinavian bands Farmers Market and Silje Nergaard Band, and was a member of the ground breaking project Supersilent up until 2008.
Steinar Raknes (bass)
Touring and recording alongside some of Norway’s finest jazz and indie pop musicians, Steinar Raknes is among Norway’s most sought after bass players. In addition to a strong rhythmic sense and lyrical playing, Steinar complements the more traditional bass role with an expressive and subtle arco touch, presenting a folk music-infused and at times fiddle-like colour palette to Tord’s compositions.