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Tord Gustavsen Quartet: The Well

After a string of trio releases, acclaimed jazz pianist Tord Gustavsen returns with a quartet this time around on The Well, a majestic collection of instrumental pieces for ECM Records. Rounding out the band for this outing are tenor saxophonist Tore Brunborg, drummer Jarle Vespestad, and double bassist Mats Elertsen. As with most of Gustavsen's recordings (and much of the ECM output for that matter), you can expect classy, sultry, and grandiose material all the way.

The pianist has found himself a formidable partner in Brunborg, whose smoky sax melodies adorn tracks such as "The Well", "On Every Corner", and "Intuition". The two really are a musical marriage that works wonders, and to hear Brunborg soar to the heavens while Gustavsen lays down gentle strains on the ivories really is ear candy for the senses. Though mostly a laid back jazz affair, it's nice to hear the pianist go into some bluesy terrain on the fun "Circling", and the dark tone of "Inside" signals perhaps the lone avant-garde element from the quartet found on the album. Vespestad & Elertsen don't make too much of an impact here, as the focus is on the piano and sax, but the rhythm duo turn in a groove laden performance on "Playing", one of the more upbeat tracks included in this set, and Elertsen pulls out his bow on the simmering "Suite" to great effect.

Those seeking some classy modern jazz sounds with emphasis on gorgeous piano and sax would be well advised to check out The Well. It's obvious that Tord Gustavsen has put together a wonderful band here, and I'll be eagerly awaiting more from this exciting quartet.

Track Listing
1. Prelude 2:48
2. Playing 5:35
3. Suite 8:19
4. Communion 4:33
5. Circling 4:39
6. Glasgow Intro 1:13
7. On Every Corner 5:12
8. The Well 5:48
9. Communion, var. 5:54
10. Intuition 4:31
11. Inside 4:16

Added: February 5th 2012
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band @ ECM Records
Hits: 2509
Language: english

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