Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Ground


TORD GUSTAVSEN TRIO
The Ground
ECM 1892

Recorded 2004


1. Tears Transforming
2. Being There
3. Twins
4. Curtains Aside
5. Colours Of Mercy
6. Sentiment
7. Kneeling Down
8. Reach Out And Touch It
9. Edges Of Happiness
10. Interlude
11. Token Of Tango
12. The Ground

PERSONNEL

TORD GUSTAVSEN; piano
HARALD JOHANSEN; bass
JARLE VESPESTAD; drums

Honking free-jazz and blistering bebop are all very well, but sometimes my head needs a good long soak, and that's when this album comes out. Some of you may remember that I went to see this lot play last year sometime, and came away mesmerised (read the review here) by the passion and intensity that Gustavsen poured into his performance. Well, some of that comes across on record too.

It's like this. Right now, as I listen to 'Curtains Aside', Tord has just broken the calm mood with a dissonant solo worthy of Cecil Taylor. Yet I remain unruffled. So confident is his delivery that you can trust him to guide you through the storm and end up back somewhere more melodic, which is exactly where the following 'Colours of Mercy' puts you.

I once read that his music creates the feeling of "looking out of a window on a wet Sunday afternoon". To that I could add "when you're warm inside and Monday is a long way away". It's that kind of record. All the usual adjectives for this kind of thing - "haunting", "ethereal", "melancholic" - come to mind, but it's so much more than that. Go listen.

2 comments:

Pete Duhon said...

Its good that you are writing about Tord, I think his album is a standout from 2005 among other greats. We should keep in touch. My blog is art comments. www.artcomments.blogspot.com

In fact, I listed Tord's album as one of the standout albums in one of my recent post.

PD

Peter MacDonald said...

This is very nice... I've never heard any of his music before. Do you like Marilyn Crispell? She's done some trio albums for ECM that give me the same kinds of feelings as this.