Bobo Stenson/Andres Jormin/Paul Motian, Goodbye (ECM)

The last thing you’d expect to hear on an ECM recording is the first thing Bobo Stenson tackles here… a haunting, introspective, sublime interpretation of the Sondheim classic “Send In The Clowns.” Pianist Bobo Stenson has made his reputation in Europe as a leader and sideman with Tomaz Stanko, Stan Getz, Charles Lloyd, and Jan Garbarek. Stenson’s longtime bassist Anders Jormin is joined by the great drummer Paul Motian, who rounds out this remarkable piano trio. Throughout Goodbye, the trio offers pleasant surprises as each component of this unit takes leadership responsibility at times in an elegant and intuitive dance. Motian in particular sparkles here as he uses his cymbals in such a way that it puts the listener in a sparkling trance. Besides Sondheim, Bobo Stenson draws inspiration from the compositions of Ornette Coleman, Tony Williams, Henry Purcell, and the ever-poignant “Goodbye” from Gordon Jenkins. The remaining half here are composed by the band and much of the magic here lies therein, for each member offers contrasting musical points of view that coalesce into a unit that explores the spaces between crystal silence and, in the process, discover a shimmering way to swing through the spheres