ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.)

Nu Jazz / Post-Fusion Contemporary / Third Stream / Post Bop • Sweden
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E.S.T. (the Esbjörn Svensson Trio) has often been thought of as the European Bad Plus, although its sound is actually different and their approach is subtler. But like the Bad Plus and Medeski, Martin & Wood, E.S.T. has revitalized the piano trio in jazz even though the individual musicians sometimes think of the group as a pop band that plays jazz. Pianist Esbjörn Svensson originally wanted to play drums but since there was a piano at his house in Sweden and his childhood friend Magnus Ostrom played drums, he learned piano. They both became professional musicians and led a trio as early as 1990. In 1993 they met bassist Dan Berglund and E.S.T. was born, making their recording debut that year.

In the mid-1990s their recording E.S.T. Plays Monk was released by a pop-oriented label, selling very well in Sweden. Their CDs began to be released beyond Scandinavia in 1999 and
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Thanks to EZ Money for the addition and snobb, dreadpirateroberts for the updates

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ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) Discography

ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) albums / top albums

ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) When Everyone Has Gone album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
When Everyone Has Gone
Post Bop 1993
ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) Plays Monk album cover 3.50 | 3 ratings
Plays Monk
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1996
ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) Winter in Venice album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Winter in Venice
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1997
ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) From Gagarin's Point of View album cover 3.19 | 7 ratings
From Gagarin's Point of View
Nu Jazz 1999
ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) Good Morning Susie Soho album cover 3.09 | 3 ratings
Good Morning Susie Soho
Nu Jazz 2000
ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) Strange Place for Snow album cover 4.10 | 15 ratings
Strange Place for Snow
Nu Jazz 2002
ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) Seven Days of Falling album cover 4.31 | 16 ratings
Seven Days of Falling
Nu Jazz 2003
ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) Viaticum album cover 4.14 | 13 ratings
Viaticum
Nu Jazz 2005
ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) Tuesday Wonderland album cover 4.32 | 13 ratings
Tuesday Wonderland
Nu Jazz 2006
ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) Leucocyte album cover 3.93 | 14 ratings
Leucocyte
Nu Jazz 2008
ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) 301 album cover 3.19 | 4 ratings
301
Nu Jazz 2012

ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) EPs & splits

ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) live albums

ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) EST Live - Mr And Mrs Handkerchief album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
EST Live - Mr And Mrs Handkerchief
Nu Jazz 1995
ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) Live in Hamburg album cover 4.94 | 7 ratings
Live in Hamburg
Nu Jazz 2007
ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) E.S.T. Symphony album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
E.S.T. Symphony
Third Stream 2016
ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) Live in London album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Live in London
Nu Jazz 2018
ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) Live in Gothenburg album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Gothenburg
Nu Jazz 2019

ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) re-issues & compilations

ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) Somewhere Else Before album cover 4.75 | 2 ratings
Somewhere Else Before
Nu Jazz 2001
ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) Retrospective - The Very Best Of e.s.t. album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Retrospective - The Very Best Of e.s.t.
Nu Jazz 2009
ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) E.S.T. Essentials album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
E.S.T. Essentials
Nu Jazz 2018

ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) singles (0)

ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live In Stockholm
Nu Jazz 2003

ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) Reviews

ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) 301

Album · 2012 · Nu Jazz
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Ricochet
This won't be written in much of a good mood. How unlikely it is, given the work and especially the band, I can say so myself. All this rather makes me most low-spirited among fans. I'm dizzied and aroused by emotions and I can't detach either so to see more than one side of things. Still, much like many were thrilled to hear a new E.S.T. album's been made or felt blessed they get to hear more of their music, I think a kindred passion has been fueling my belief that such an addenda to E.S.T.'s already unique story was rather not worth it.

The news certainly didn't thrill me either. Really now, four years having passed, both Berglund and Östrom well pursuing something else, and I was to believe this isn't more than the usual posthumous mishap of ransacking through unreleased material and bidding it off? A sentiment then well dismissed, of course, by the great excuse that it all stems from the same 2007 session as Leucocyte, plus that it's supposedly the rest of a double album Esbjörn himself contemplated. Alas, my faith in it lasted right until the tapes started playing the first time, as it really sounds less precious.

Neither bad, nor out of style, I do however think that 301 is marred by the circumstances. And it's hardly the first questionable such release. The other was titled Leucocyte, released just three months after Esbjörn's death, thus a token and a tribute weighing heavily on. Difference is, its stroke was well overwhelming, with its blaze, gravitas and great pathos, its extravagant, experimental angles and its extent of a requiem. Ain't its mesmerism therefore slightly tarnished now?

Surely 301 can't match up. And I've seen plenty attempts to push it skyward, from critics and fans alike calling it "the best", "the ultimate", "the definitive", which frankly I can't fathom for one second. There are more noble intentions into its making, as it is indeed some sort of closure compared to Leucocyte - peaceful, beautiful tunes; clean trio music, often ridded of any electronic distorsions and depressed tones; refulgent and fulfilling. But it's still a "B-side" to that session, placid in its style, frail in its inner sanctum. And to not sense its vital link, its resolve in the E.S.T. suite probably troubles me the most.

That being said, two compliments, mainly for the album's finest - indeed regrettable had we ended up never hearing them - two epics. Neither being "Inner City / Inner Lights", with a quality slow-ticking clockwork, but which never takes off, as it naturally should; besides, the piano keys buzz cold and twang. Thus moreover "The Left Lane", that follows right after, with its dandy simple tune, from which the rest is pure, blissful fantasy. And then "Three Falling Free Part II", which is simply breathtaking. Östrom is supreme, almost as much as with his ominous thundering on Leucocyte's "Premonition - Earth", definiting another tāla of his own, on which the others build on euphorically. To what, on Leucocyte, was ending almost in misery, disheartening, noisy suspension and evanescence, here "The Childhood Dream" fulfills a more natural, tranquil and echoing consolation.

Still, to have such mixed feelings, almost for the first time, about an E.S.T. album, is almost a terrible feeling in itself. This is the first time I dare reviewing one of their works and I can't even call it a victory.

ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) Leucocyte

Album · 2008 · Nu Jazz
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snobb
"Leucocyte" is the final trio recording before Svensson's untimely death, and it is for sure their best album. After some pleasant, but often too faceless and toothless contemporary jazz albums a-la Keith Jarrett released in the 90s, and their well crafted and catchy pop-rock-jazz recordings from the first years of the new millennium, the trio for the first time stepped on to more risky territory.

In the middle of their Australian tour, they spent two days in the studio recording mostly improvisational material which later became "Leucocyte". Their signature melancholic airy melodic style is present in this music, but there are a lot of unusual elements - starting with two compositions that are 13 and 17 minutes long. No more airplay friendly music and candidates to pop tops! This music is an intelligent, clever and tasteful mix of jazz improvisation, rock (in moments - almost heavy rock) energy and electronics and this album is probably the best evidence of them being part of the nu jazz movement. Knowing that their huge fan club was formed on the basis of their melodic and quite polished albums of the early 00', I expect for some (or possibly even many) of them this album could sound too complex or not very accessible, but for any open ear (nu) jazz fans, this work is essential and I believe it is the best moment of the e.s.t. musical legacy.

ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) Good Morning Susie Soho

Album · 2000 · Nu Jazz
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snobb
After three pleasant but generally toothless contemporary jazz albums e.s.t. stepped on new land on their "From The Gagarin's Point Of View" in 1999,adding some pop-rock elements to their previous "piano trio a-la Keith Jarrett" sound.This more evolution than revolution step looked like right direction and it was continued on their next album "Good Morning Susie Soho" (one of elements e.s.t. successfully borrowed from pop-rock culture is their ability to chose albums names - catchy but having no relation with musical content).

Album opens with distorted bass sounds so the listener is warned there would not be just polished melancholic piano based jazzy tunes anymore!And even "Good Morning..." is more evolutionary album good half of its compositions are of higher energy - it looks that trio just woke up from lethargic sleep of previous years.Being transitional album to their stardom nu jazz formula of early 00',this album contains traces of almost all future components of their music.Possibly most important moment is musicians are obviously grew up from their comfortable melancholic (and endless)beautifully faceless musical attic.Just listen to "The Wraith" - the composition,full of electronic effects and even groove!Even "Last Letter From Lithuania" - quite traditional for trio ballad sounds here elegant,airy and without overdose of sweet melancholy.Title song is spiced by funky electronic effects and comparing with classical trio's material sounds as real alien!"Spam Boo Limbo" sounds almost as (guitar-less)fusion song!

Returning back to land "Good Morning..." is still transitional album at the end of the day. Besides of some new style compositions it contains quite traditional for band ones. As a result after listening you'll possibly have mixed feeling - even if hidden track at the end of the album (starting at last composition's 12 minute)is full-bodied high energy fusion.To hear true e.s.t. new (or nu)sound you'll need just to play one of their new millennium albums.

ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) From Gagarin's Point of View

Album · 1999 · Nu Jazz
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snobb
E.S.T. was the most popular (and commercially most successful) European jazz collective in the late 90s to early 00', and different from many of the more talented jazz artists/bands before and after them, they have maintained a strong following during all these years (and still have in part till now, even after they were disbanded because of pianist Esbjorg Svensson's death). The reason for such phenomena is based not only on their music, but also in their stylish image as well. They started as a long-hair jazz-playing pop-rock trio and brought a lot of stadium rock aesthetics to the scene. One of the classic attributes of any rock star is fanboyism for sure - and they have it in full.

If you have heard a lot about their star status and are new to their music,(depending on your musical background) you will possibly be surprised when you listen to one of their albums. All of their works from the 90s are more or less successful clones of Keith Jarrett's contemporary jazz albums (don't expect even small traces of his experimental music of the early 70s though). The central figure of E.S.T., Esbjorn Svensson, was a skilled pianist for sure, but the lack of originality on their early albums is more than obvious. "From Gagarin's Point Of View" is their first album where they started to combine Jarrett-like cool piano (to tell the truth in Svensson's version, it always sounded slightly melancholic which is one of the main reasons why the more romantic part of Jarrett's fan base accepted him as their new idol) with some elements of rock culture (straight forward rock rhythmic structures, some high energy moments, rock-song composition structures). Possibly you will need to have an open ear to hear these "experiments", but at least for the first time on an E.S.T. album they are presented at all. It didn't make this album the greatest listening experience, but at least it isn't well polished, melancholic, well played, over produced and totally toothless listening as in their previous works. The best word here is "promises"...

By far not the trio's best album, and still not their real "nu jazz" sound, so maybe its better to start with their later releases.

ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) Seven Days of Falling

Album · 2003 · Nu Jazz
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Nathaniel607
Seven Days of Falling 10/10

Some jazz albums suffer from feeling like the pieces are just excuses to solo - that the piece was composed explicitly for that purpose. This albums does not suffer from that. Although there are plenty of solos - and they're great - the melodies, harmony and mood that the pieces create are absolutely amazing.

The piano playing on this album is majestic. Perfect. Esbjorn somehow manages to make melodies sound both dense and sparse. He uses the least amount of notes to show the most amount of beauty. This makes the solos even more impressive, where he speeds up significantly and creates rhythmically and melodically interesting solos - also harvesting a great use of dynamics to create extremely compelling passages!

All the pieces on here are excellent! There are quite a few mood changes, with pieces like "Ballad for the Unborn" and "Believe Beleft Below" showing a more mellow side and "Mingle in the Mincing-Machine" and "Elevation of Love" showing more frantic sides - especially the former.

There are more instruments that just piano, of course. Notable is the fact that there is significant guitar usage on the albums, presumably played also by Dan Berglund and also some violin which I have no idea who plays. All the playing is good. The drums are very competent and the album contains some fairly unusually drumming for jazz and some strange meters which I mentioned earlier. There are also some effects used on the drums like a constantly panning ride cymbal (I believe) on "In My Garage". Overall, the drums aren't very bombastic but certainly add an extra charm to this release. The bass, also, is interesting but not frivolous, though there are a couple of great solos.

Something strange I noticed in this is there seems to be somebody shouting along weirdly to the solos during some of the songs, like "In My Garage". It's in the background, and doesn't really add or take away from the album.

Of particular note is the bonus track "Love is Real" (I believe that's its name, though it may just be untitled) which is played after "O.D.R.I.P" (no idea what that stands for) and contains vocals, which I believe are preformed by Josh Haden. It's very nice and I believe the melody is the same as on "Believe Beleft Below".

In conclusion, this is an absolutely breathtaking album, which everyone should hear. Some may not love it due to it's relative simplicity but I find it hard to imagine anyone hating this album, due to it being both accessible but also massively involving.

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