Tord Gustavsen, The Ground (ECM)

Tord Gustavsen’s Changing Places, his debut as a leader on ECM, announced
the graceful talent of a jazz pianist with impeccable taste. His follow up The
finds Gustavsen’s piano trio in superb form. Once again Gustavsen’s
sensitivity, finesse and understatement shine through like quiet morning light
illuminating an enchanted forest. There are no wasted notes, no gimmicks, no
exercises in clever techniques, nothing but introspective jazz played with delicately
layered elegance that you hope will be the thing you hear before the fragrance
of memory perfumes your dreams. Listening to this music is akin to watching a
ballerina going through a perfect practice; congruent with beauty, every detail
falling into place like an Emily Dickinson flower poem. This aural garden of
delights emanates from carefully selected seeds attended to with great care and
gentle hands that know the ways of nature. The only thing I know as delicate
as this is the touch of a baby’s soft skin. Tord Gustavsen’s The
is sublime beyond description; another quiet masterpiece from this gifted