Tord Gustavsen Trio - The Ground
RIYL: Brad Mehldau, Bill Evans, E.S.T. (but without the electronics)
Opposite of: Oscar Peterson, Red Garland, Chucho Valdes
If Brad Mehldau didn't play standards, and was on ECM, you could imagine that one of his records might sound a lot like those from the Tord Gustavsen trio. Perhaps that's not a fair statement for either artist involved, but it does give you a good idea of what we're talking about musically with pianist Gustavsen's new cd "The Ground". I wouldn't go so far as to say that Gustavsen is influenced by Brad's playing, but they are obviously informed by the great classical piano works, and are unafraid to incoporate some of that knowledge into the piano/bass/drums jazz trio context. His compositions are intruiging, (all originals on "The Ground") and the trio sounds like a true unit. Usually, in such a review, it's now time to dust off one of the tired cliches about ECM production values, Manfred Eicher, barren landscapes, contemplative moments (can someone come up with a better explanation for the 4 seconds of silence at the beginning of the first track on each ECM album?). I won't use the cliches, but will say, this is a very ECM-ish album. Maybe if Bill Evans had recorded on ECM...