Currently one of Europe's leading forces in the jazz world, e.s.t. (Esbjrn Svensson Trio) brings their unique and unmistakable sound stateside with the release of their new album, Tuesday Wonderland. This album is an eclectic mix of classical, melodic jazz and electronics with the feel of an energetic pop/rock show, making it a must-have for all music lovers. Esbjrn Svensson (piano), Dan Berglund (double bass) and Magnus strm (drums) are the talented threesome who make up e.s.t. Tuesday Wonderland marks their tenth album and possibly their best to date by expanding on the formula of fusing traditional jazz, funk and rock to make a tapestry of music that grabs hold of the listener. This combination creates a musical journey full of emotions and textures that allow each song to build on the other. Formed in 1990, the trio have been amazing fans and critics alike ever since. In 1995 and 1996 Svensson was awarded Swedish Jazz musician of the Year and Songwriter of the Year in 1998. The 2005 release of Viaticum garnered the band their second Swedish Grammyr in the Best Jazz Album category and most recently Tuesday Wonderland, released in Europe in September 2006, was nominated in that category as well. The media has been equally enthralled with the trio. World-renowned jazz magazine, Downbeat, had e.s.t. as the first European jazz band ever to grace their cover and The New York Times has been quoted as saying they are one of the most talked about groups currently on the European circuit. e.s.t. 's upcoming U.S. tour kicks off at New York City's famed Merkin Hall on April 14th in support of Tuesday Wonderland, in stores April 10th on Emarcy.
E.S.T. like to play with expectations, and they begin Tuesday Wonderland
as you might assume, with a spare solo piano line hinting at a delicate baroque counterpoint. It's the kind of feather-stroked chamber jazz they've been working for a few years now. But just as you settle in, crushing drums and fuzzed arco bass drop in a groove from the apocalypse. This ominous track, "Fading Maid Preludium," and its second half, "Fading Maid Post
ludium," frame Tuesday Wonderland
, setting in bas-relief an album of careening, intuitive improvisation. E.S.T. are frighteningly varied in their technique and deep in their understanding of jazz lore. You can hear echoes of Keith Jarrett and Ahmad Jamal in pianist Esbjörn Svensson, from whom the trio take their name, but he also embraces a more modern vocabulary, hinting at Cecil Taylor while dancing gospel vamps and dropping rock power-chords. Drummer Magnus Öström can lay down the shuffling brush strokes of "The Goldhearted Miner," pour out a progressive rock fusillade, or do a ballet of polyrhythmic shadings and colors that recall the late Steve McCall. The real chameleon of the group is bassist Dan Berglund. He plays soulful, muscular double bass lines, but he also triggers a synthesizer for both subtle shading and the hellion roar heard on that opening track. E.S.T. remain a group exploring the edges of jazz improvisation, managing to be free and intuitive while also maintaining melodic and rhythmic touchstones. Tracks like "Brewery of Beggars" are multipart journeys shifting from gentle lyricism to electric storms. E.S.T. have evolved from being the most ECM-like band that wasn't on ECM into their own natural and thoroughly modern hybrid. --John Diliberto