Cover image for The Other Side [compact disc] / Tord Gustavsen Trio.
The Other Side [compact disc] / Tord Gustavsen Trio.
Publication Information:
[United States] : Ecm, 2018.
Physical Description:
1 sound disc : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Compact disc.

The tunnel Kirken, den er et gammelt hus Re-melt Duality Ingen vinner frem til den evige ro Taste and see Schlafes bruder Jesu, meine Freude / Jesus, det eneste The other side O traurigkeit Left over lullaby No. 4 Curves
Tord returns decisively to the piano trio, with faithful drummer Jarle Vespestad, and new bassist Sigurd Hole, both musicians ideally suited to Gustavsen's slowly developing, deeply melodic pieces.
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JAZ TOR Music CD Adult Music CD

On Order



After 11 years, pianist and composer Tord Gustavsen returns to the trio format on The Other Side, following a trilogy of internationally celebrated albums that began in 2003 and ended in 2007. After original bassist Harald Johnsen suddenly passed in 2011, Gustavsen worked in quartets, quintets, and frequent side ventures with choirs, fiddle players, and Iranian musicians. Here, the pianist and Jarle Vespestad -- who has drummed on all of Gustavsen's albums -- are joined by bassist Sigurd Hole, whose eclectic approach involves drawing on influences from folk music and modern jazz. He is a natural fit with the pianist's drawn-out and evolving sense of melody and harmony. The Other Side represents a new beginning, one that exists in its own space apart from the larger group outings, but also separate from the previous trio. This group is more inquisitive than assertive -- whether playing one of Gustavsen's seven originals, traditional songs, or the three adaptations of J.S. Bach compositions.The set opens with "The Tunnel," which has been part of the group's live set for some time. It emerges as a languid, minor-key song, save for the pianist's looking toward the melody's edges to open up subtler shades of meaning. It's nearly a processional with a circular return, but within it are deft if brief interstitial periods of improvisation. The dialogue between Gustavsen and Hole in the midsection -- where hymnody is hinted at but never stated explicitly -- is delicious. "Kirken, den er et Gammelt Hus," by Danish composer/folklorist/organist Ludvig Matthias Lindeman, commences with a skeletal bass solo framed by delicate electronics before syncopated, whispering snares and hi-hats create space for the melody to assert itself in Gustavsen's thematic piano statement, which is broken down to elementals before a transformative reconstruction in the trio's own image. Cascading layers of middle-register arpeggios focus on two phrases, articulating them with shifting rhythms, fills, and accents. "Duality" possesses an inquisitive interpolation of Hole's arco improvisations, Vespestad's gently rumbling tom-toms and cymbal washes, and Gustavsen's blues-tinged chord shapes. Bach's "Schlafes Bruder" is rearranged as a dark little groover, with Vespestad's snare dancing along the thematic outline before the pianist feints against the bassline and adds its sacred melody to soul and folk interpolations. The title track is almost majestic in its minimal way, as a pronounced chordal, hymn-like melody follows a circular drum and bass vamp, gently asserting itself in rounds with other articulations of voice layered in, walking the line between soul-jazz, the church, and near modal post-bop. The closer, "Curves," is introduced as a near-spectral solo piano meditation on Bill Evans-ian harmony. As the rhythm section becomes more engaged, it unfolds very gradually to reveal itself as a deeply emotive jazz ballad. The Other Side offers an expanded version of Gustavsen's trio signature. It retains the elemental articulations of melodic focus that made the previous version unique, but asks far more questions of the material needing to deliver answers, creating a constantly evolving, affirmative body of music. ~ Thom Jurek