This CD, E.S.T. (Esbjorn Stensson Trio) is very impressive. It has style, simplicity, and communication. It says something and I love music that speaks to you. Especially at a time when a lot of music is not saying much. I think this Swedish group says a lot.The piano of Esbjorn Svensson is embraceable, textured and well balanced. I could come up with a slue of musical definitions and terms to help define the piano work or the CD for that matter, but I’m not. What I will say is, this CD is a joy to listen to. It has the ability to move your mind and take you places you’ve only imagined.
Along with Bassist Dan Berglund and Magnus Ostrom on drums, they make a musical statement.For instance, take track two "Dodge the dodo" the drums are driving. The cymbals crashing like waves plummeting the shore of a beautiful secluded beach. (San Gregorio and Pebble beach is where I went; you’ll have to choose your own) The bass work uniquely fits in and outside the number. Bowing with fusion like intensity yet remaining true to the feel of the composition, and all the while, never leaving the pianist side.
If I have any criticisms, it would be that some of the interludes and a couple of intros are a little drawn out but the composition(s) quickly recovers via the group’s musical cohesiveness. Some of the after market studio effects on some of the tunes are not necessary and easily replaceable by any number of instruments without compromising the integrity of the composition. Individually, these musicians are pretty good. Together as a trio, they sound great.
E.S.T’s "Somewhere else before". is a passionate body of work that is worthy of being a part of any jazz lover’s archives. If you never heard of E.S.T. don’t worry, you won’t be disappointed. This CD goes nice with morning dress and coffee, rush hours to and from the office. It fits nicely as background sounds at the office and it is equally at home for unwinding in the evenings with a glass of chilled wine or scotch on the rocks. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t work for E.S.T., I just know good music when I hear it.