Due to be released on the 22nd of September, ‘Seven Days Of Falling’ is the latest work by E.S.T. - the Esbjörn Svensson Trio. Their much awaited new album will not disappoint. It is in fact a very coherent and profound work, knitted with Svennson’s usual passion for exploring different genres and experimenting with electronics, still, with a gentleness and delicacy that informs the entire CD.
Svensson’s writing combines a deep, refined attention to harmony: chords that act as a very recognizable signature throughout E.S.T. works, together with a strong sense of rhythm: the piano being not only the tonal turning point, but also a strong source of rhythmical pulse for the pieces (perhaps an unsurprising trait of an interpreter who many times admitted his original vocation for the drums as a kid, before taking up the piano.)
The track-titles echo rather unusual and surreal landscapes (‘Mingle In The Mincing-machine’, ‘Evening In Atlantis,’ ‘Did They Ever Tell Cousteau?’) or simple day-to-day images like ‘In My Garage,’ where the simplicity of being is translated into a little fresh tune, very plainly structured into pair rhythms, with some atmospheric electronics and a very cheerful piano playing along with the simplicity of the double-bass and the brushing of drums.Each track is framed within a coherent design, the album being the organism that gives uniformity and sense to its parts.
A quiet maturity comes out of the CD, a thoughtfulness and intensity perhaps summoned by ‘Elevation Of Love,’ a turning-point track where the resting energy of the album just freely resolves, as in a living being pensiveness is followed by need of action and release (as in ‘Good Morning Susie Soho’ (ACT 9009-2), where ‘Spam-Boo-Limbo’ surprises you almost at the end of the album, with its energetic and circular pulse, somehow a resolution of what has been played until that very moment.)The closing tune is an almost alienated liberation of energy, with a very simple rhythmical structure and few repeated chords, an ‘ostinato’ that closes the door behind, leaving little room for improvisation.
A thorough use of electronics characterizes ‘Seven Days of Falling,’ without being obtrusive. Berglund on bass quite often electrically amplifies his bow, producing a sound almost recalling a distorted guitar and as such adding a dramatic perspective (or a surreal one as in ‘Mingle In The Mincing-Machine.’) Svensson himself is no stranger to sampling. The drums even desert once into a kind of drum’n’bass domain. The free improvisation patterns very effectively clash against the rigidity intrinsic to playing with genres, juxtaposing the structured frame of, i.e., drum’n’bass, country, even classical music, with the freedom of jazz.
The oxymoron of styles that this album conveys is definitely challenging - the bitter-sweet gentleness, the alienated passion, the tied improvisations.... The clarity of the Swedish skies has never been so charmingly somber.