Four years after Cantando, a new album from the Bobo Stenson Trio recorded in Lugano last December explores a broad arc of material. Here we find: free playing (the trio has its own, fresh approach to collective improvising), tunes by Bill Evans (Your Story, offered here as a tribute to Paul Motian, for whom this tune was a favourite) and by George Russell (Event VI from Living Time, another piece associated with Evans), Danish composer Carl Nielsens Oft Am I Glad, a Norwegian hymn (in an arrangement by Anders Jormin and folk singer Sinikka Langeland), contemporary composition by Norways Ola Gjeilo, a Wolf Biermann protest song, Argentine composer Ariel Ramírezs folkloric La Peregrinación, and more. Wide-ranging repertoire has become a hallmark of Bobo Stenson recordings. But its not just the eclecticism that is striking: Bobo Stenson, Anders Jormin and Jon Falt take their far-flung sources and make of them an organic music that sings with its own voice.
Mr. Stenson makes fairly sublime piano trio records without over-arranging, overplaying or over-bandleading. In his mid-60s now, he s the repository of half a century of the development of free jazz, in particular the European post-1960s kind, with its folk and classical leanings. Yet he wears it all lightly. In his recent records you don t hear strategies or contentions but a natural working flow. --New York Times