E.S.T. (Esbjörn Svensson Trio) - Live in HamburgE.S.T. (Esbjörn Svensson Trio)
Live in Hamburg


This is Esbjörn Svensson Trio's third live album and the first recorded outside of Sweden. You would expect it to sound like Norwegian Tord Gustavsen and his trio, except it's not. EST has more of an experimental spirit in their songs and, because of that, they've redefined jazz. This time around, EST uses less dissonance than usual. They haven't left their minimalistic roots, but have filled out the spaces with more sound. Like in the past, they kick in a phrase or two of vocalizations or other unusual instruments that makes the song quirky and adventurous. As an aside, the clapping at the end of the tracks can really disturb the listening experience, as this one did. This may not be as great an introduction to EST as their earlier works are, but as a standard, it can be said that they've done it again.
- Jennifer Ma

E.S.T. (Esbjörn Svensson Trio) - Tuesday wonderlandE.S.T. (Esbjörn Svensson Trio)
Tuesday wonderland


I reviewed EST's last album, "Viaticum", and I was pleased and impressed by their fusion of jazz and rock. "Tuesday wonderland" follows a similar pattern in bringing together the worlds of rock and jazz the way it was meant to be in the first place (Weather Report and Return to Forever be damned). The most significant difference with "Viaticum" is that "Tuesday wonderland" includes electric and electronic instruments, most notably electric bass, as a significant textural and leading instrument through some of the songs, although very little of the work done there could be described as "riffs". The album is also a lot more pop than the previous, without ever reverting to easy listening-Diana Krall-jazz that your father seems to enjoy. Though they do bring together two genres in a way that I have not heard before, they keep one foot firmly in the post-bop composition style that is heard often in jazz these days. Truly a trio that has reconciled two worlds.
- Simon Thibaudeau

E.S.T. (Esbjörn Svensson Trio)

This traditional acoustic trio (piano, drum, bass) does things differently. The kind of things they do is very similar to what fusion bands did in the seventies (Return to Forever comes to mind) but without all the cheesiness that was involved then. E.S.T. come with a true understanding of post-bob, downtempo and contemporary post-rock music. Never, the music sounds forced. Never, the bit of electronics that come in sound misplaced. Always, the improvisation goes somewhere. All of that is more than I can say for a lot of bands, jazz or else.
- Simon Thibaudeau