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Tord Gustavsen Quartet – Extended Circle

March 9, 2014

Tord Extended Circle

A couple of years ago I discovered Tord Gustavsen (The Well) and it reignited my love of the ECM label.  I picked up this CD (note ECM only issues CD – no vinyl) without hearing it because I enjoyed the last one so much.  I was not disappointed.

Tord Gustavsen plays a very contemplative style of jazz piano – kind of like Keith Jarrett on Valium.  Imagine that feeling just as you are about to doze off on a carefree afternoon nap – that is the sound of Tord.  Yet this is not audio wallpaper or a sleep machine – there is a soulful swing to the music.  It is very engaging and richly textured.  I love this kind of jazz – it can be background music, but it is deep enough to straight up listen too. You are free to engage as much or as little as you like.  Every time I give this an alert and engaged listen I hear something new.

The Quartet is piano, bass, drums and tenor sax – I don’t know any of the players other than they are all Norwegian.  The tenor sax (Tore Brunborg) is an absolutely wonderful member of the music conversation.  He is not on all the cuts, but when he is it is stirring.  The drums and bass add a gorgeous texture to the proceedings.

Highly recommended. For a sample see the ECM Tord Gustavsen Quartet Extended Circle site and click on “Music.”

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