Picture lifted from this blog where there are plenty more like it.
Despite the best efforts on my part, and a ten week online course, jazz is still not something I find myself returning to often. The albums that I do go back to tend to be piano led, and often piano trios (e.g. Sunday at The Village Vanguard by Bill Evans) or even solo (e.g. Alone on San Francisco by Thelonious Monk). It seems to be that while I’m learning that jazz is a wide and varied form, and that a frontline of horns are often the focus… that actually those horns might be getting in the way of my enjoyment somewhat.
I’m not sure how I happened upon The Esbjörn Svensson Trio’s (aka e.s.t.) work a few weeks back but have to admit that I’m rather taken with it. Given the timeless sound, and the space-race theme I was rather surprised to find this was an album from 1999 and not 1959, although occasionally it seemed a little wrong for then most notably on Dodge The Dodo. Is that cello, or the bass being bowed? And what the heck is making some of those noises? A live video on YouTube suggests it was the bass through some effects.
Often I’ll listen to a jazz album, express some sort of appreciation for it, and file it away for further consideration… but never actually get a desire to listen to it again. I’ve listened to From Gagarin’s Point of View half a dozen times in the last couple of weeks, I keep hearing more and enjoying it more because of that… and I haven’t even considered the rest of e.s.t.’s output.
Here’s a rather great live version of Dodge The Dodo with the trio augmented with Pat Metheny on guitar and about a huge string section.
Esbjörn Svensson was born a month before I was in April 1964, he died scuba-diving at the age of 44.