MIC's Listen to Norway series continues with Tord Gustavsen Trio's 'The Ground'
The second album from the Tord Gustavsen trio, ’The Ground’, does not disappoint. The transparency that marked out the outfit’s first outing, ‘Changing Places’, has become more sharply defined, while the compositions are shaped with greater clarity of musical vision, allowing Gustavsen to weave his captivating, highly melodic piano improvisations to greater effect. Somehow this group draws you into its music, and each piece is a musical journey within the totality of the album itself. When the album is over you realize the extent to which this group has probed into the very heart of musical meaning. There really is not a piano trio in the whole of jazz that sounds like Gustavsen’s, which has continued to grow together into a remarkably integrated unit refining a vision of jazz that is very much its own. Gustavsen may not play many notes, but he does make them all count, and Jarle Vespestad's patient, multi-textured drumming and bassist Harald Johnsen’s deep notes are hypnotic listening.