Tord Gustavsen - In A Silent Way

A remarkably understated Norwegian piano trio has produced a set of albums that have become some of the best selling jazz records in Europe in the last few years. Led by pianist Tord Gustavsen the trio is set for a UK tour and an appearance at the London Jazz Festival in November following the release of Being There earlier this year. Stuart Nicholson digs deep to discover their influences, their affinity to “cool school” jazz, and how their Norwegian roots informs thieir music. Tord Gustavsen - In A Silent Way
If there was an award for the quietest band in the world, the Tord Gustavsen Trio would win it hands down. Their self imposed dynamic range, from an I-can’t-quite-hear-you  pianissimo to an Ahh-that’s-a-bit-better mezzo piano, draws you into to their music in the same way you instinctively lean forward to hear softly spoken conversation.

Gustavsen is a pianist of poetic cast, an exceptionally lucid player with a sure sense of melodic structure and a sensual lyrical imagination. Together with bassist Harald Johnsen and drummer Jarle Vespestad, who follow the precise contours of his compositions with unflappable taste, they create music rich with inner meaning and nuance.

This is more apparent than ever in their latest album Being There, completing a trilogy of albums that began with 2003’s Changing Places (that sold over 70,000 copies) and 2004’s The Ground (that entered the Norwegian Top Ten) by getting deeper into those moods of faint melancholy you get when gazing out of the window on a wet Sunday afternoon..

 “I didn’t set out to make a trilogy,” says Gustavsen, who projects an aura of calm that seems to fill the space around him. Of medium height and slightly built, there’s nevertheless a coiled spring intensity about him that finds focus in a number like ‘Blessed Feet’ from his latest album, an abstracted Alleluia whose hymn-like quality he makes soar. “It wasn’t until we had done the last album that I realised it was a relevant or meaningful way of seeing the three albums. There is diversity within unity within the three, and they document some of the development we have had as a trio, exploring a way playing together, a way of entering the music from diverse angles.”

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #113 to read the full feature and receive a Free CD Subscribe Here...