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E.S.T: Tuesday Wonderland

For proof that this Swedish piano trio is different from the norm, start with its name. Most such groups are named for the “soloist,” putting the rhythm section on the back burner. But the acoustic trio of pianist Esbjorn Svensson, bassist Dan Berglund and drummer Magnus Ostrom shortened the standard Esbjorn Svensson Trio moniker to E.S.T., a move indicative of its democratic sound. On its new release, Tuesday Wonderland, the trio exemplifies sharing the wealth.

The most creative jazz is always made by musicians who refuse to be enslaved by the traditions attached to the American art form. Being Swedish, E.S.T. has the extra advantage of not having to subscribe to such American throwback ideologies. One minute into Svensson’s pensive intro to the opening “Fading Maid Preludium,” Berglund and Ostrom create a musical hit-and-run through metallic bowing and a blast of crash cymbals, respectively. The message is clear-expect the unexpected.

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