Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

E.S.T.: Strange Place for Snow

Swedish pianist Esbjorn Svensson is often compared to Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans for his spacious phrasing and moody harmonies. Like Evans, Svensson makes the intruments in his E.S.T. trio prime elements, not just support; otherwise I don’t understand the Evans comparison. While the other comparison is more on the mark, Svensson has a better sense of groove than Jarrett, if not his advanced approach to harmony. (And, yes, he does sometimes share Jarrett’s penchant for unbridled groaning, though it’s not a distraction.)

I think Svensson’s secret is akin to the same skill Vince Guaraldi displayed on all those great songs for the Peanuts cartoons: the rare ability to convey memorable melodies with a hint of groove that don’t sound the least bit trite.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published