Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Tuesday Wonderland, 2006

Having certainly acclaimed by jazz scene, the album Viaticum made EST fans longing for a new album. Especially after the tour of Viaticum the trio started to become a living legend because they were different, they were energetic and they were modest. They play like they know the old jazz, the new jazz, the old rock, the new rock, the classical period, the baroque period and the contemporary music. More than this, they feel the music inside and improvise freely with a truly technical maturity. The fans are not disappointed by Esbjörn Svensson Trio and satisfied by a great work in 2006, Tuesday Wonderland. According to what we learned from interviews and the small notes in E.S.T. Retrospective, the trio were planning to record Bach music, Das Wohltemperierte Klavier with fugues and songs alternating in all keys with jazz band. However they decided that it did not fit with the trio's style. The sound of the album is very near to Viaticum but with a more hopeful attribute. The recording and mixing is made by Ake Linton at Bohus Sound Recording Studios in Gothenburg in March 2006. The trio has recorded their five previous albums in Atlantis Studio. Ake Linton was their audio engineer for the tours thus they decided to make a change and record with him. The mastering is made by Dragan Tanaskovic at Bohus Mastering. You can find a SACD print for this album. You can also get the fabulous Live in Hamburg 2-CD to listen to a great sample from their Tuesday Wonderland tour(The Best Jazz album of the Decade). Let me give the list of the pieces and my comments:
  1. Faiding Maid Preludium (Svensson / Berglund / Öström)
  2. Tuesday Wonderland (Svensson / Berglund / Öström)
  3. Goldhearted Miner (Svensson / Berglund / Öström)  
  4. Brewery of Beggars (Svensson / Berglund / Öström)
  5. Beggar’s Blanket (Svensson / Berglund / Öström)  
  6. Dolores in a Shoestand (Svensson / Berglund / Öström)  
  7. Where We Used to Live (Svensson / Berglund / Öström)  
  8. Eight Hundred Streets by Feet (Svensson / Berglund / Öström)
  9. Goldwrap (Svensson / Berglund / Öström)
  10. Sipping on the Solid Ground (Svensson / Berglund / Öström)
  11. Fading Maid Postludium (Svensson / Berglund / Öström)  
  1. Faiding Maid Preludium: A certain melancholy is given in the beginning of the album by the solo piano, then Esbjörn Svensson Trio welcomes you with a blast of distorted double-bass and kicks&beats of the drums near to the end of the first minute. The bow technic of Dan Berglund is very unique especially when he uses distortion. A feedback-like tone signals the end.
  2. Tuesday Wonderland: Lower octaves are used by Esbjörn Svensson while Dan Berglund is using highers. Then, they change the roles and exchange the notes. This time (a more common sound) Dan Berglund plays the bass line and Esbjörn Svensson plays the main theme. I love this part. They do the same changing again in different times throughout the piece. Magnus Öström carries an accompanying rhythm. We hear electronic effects especially from double-bass while Esbjörn Svensson is trying to carry the song to another state. They do it again, I am on my knees between the two speakers while listening to this great piece of these great musicians. How can one think to use the piano in such a way and produce a composition that is like no other I have ever heard. Esbjörn Svensson is a genius. Magnus Öström sometimes pushes the others with his sticks travelling over snare-drum. The piece is ended by the distorted double-bass.
  3. Goldhearted Miner: Oh My God! Look at the great sound caught by Esbjörn Svensson from the piano. It sounds like pulling some bows of a saz (a traditional instrument in Turkey). You feel something with the ground and earth strangely. A standard composition and performance (the standard of EST is extraordinary) suddenly become a masterpiece with this addition. The dominant feeling is melancholy in nature.
  4. Brewery of Beggars: A distorted broken-piano-like sound is travelling from left to right channel then a fast piano partition (similar to Bumble Bee) is accompanied by aggressive drums and double bass which is electronically supported. The theme is sometimes changed by the distortion double-bass played by bow. At the end of the first half, the trio calms down and starts to play a soft and improvisational partition together. Magnus Öström raises the tension a little bit with his frequent beats. At the second half we hear the same loudness in the beginning, this time with atonal partitions from double-bass. There is a really deep electronic bass trying to keep the main tempo. The piano goes back to the crowd and plays a faded melody. The distortion is finished naturally linking the piece to the next one.
  5. Beggar’s Blanket: A tranquil piano and bass duo is a good break for the trio.
  6. Dolores in a Shoestand: This is a very famous piece of Esbörn Svensson Trio with its catchy melodic structure. The melody is played by the bass first. Then piano and bass play it together while a rotating rhythm (may be electronically supported) is accompanying them. Magnus Öström is again there with his perfect technique. The last part is coloured by claps and talkings of a group of people behind.
  7. Where We Used to Live: I feel like I am listening to a very early performance of E.S.T. while listening to this melancholic masterpiece. The piece 4 a.m in the debut album When Everyone Has Gone is very similar to that one. You can see the link also at the name of the piece. This is a tribute to past times. Considering that the concept of the album is progressive and energetic, this is like an island for the trio. A soft bass and brush played drum accompany our legendary pianist’s clear touches.
  8. Eight Hundred Streets by Feet: This is among masterpieces of EST and one of my favorites. Deep kicks and certain snare-drum beats are followed by a dramatic piano melody which is completed by a minimal acoustic bass. This is like a post-war movie soundtrack. Everything is broken and destroyed. However, we have the hope necessary to fix everything. Everything gonna be alright but first we need to learn to love after lots of bad feelings of war. The composition is just awesome. Near to the end we hear a little bit Leucocyte's sound which again makes us think about Esbjörn, which is depressing for me.
  9. Goldwrap: A fast and energetic electronic percussion (I suppose, it is created by Magnus Öström) keeps the rhythm for a virtuosic piano and double-bass performance. We sometimes hear distortion effect from the double-bass. The percussion sometimes take a break but generally continues till the end.    
  10. Sipping on the Solid Ground: A very slow tempo rhythm is accompanied by a crying long bass. The piano tone is made cold from time to time by Esbjörn Svensson, who holds the pieces inside the piano. It is like the last song of an E.S.T. album. You will certainly like this great composition.
  11. Fading Maid Postludium: The first piece was the Preludium and the last one is the Postludium. The same theme with the first piece is performed. This time with a darker sound and a heavier distortion on the double-bass. We, again, sometimes hear Leucocyte’s sound. The last part of the first half is passed by a piano solo. An E.S.T. classic, a hidden track waits for us at the end. If you wait for about 3 minutes you start to listen to a distortion added, electronically supported improvisational part. I think, we hear a link to both Leucocyte and 301 here. Considering that the records of these albums are made in 2006, this is meaningful.
Try these samples:

You can read my other posts about E.S.T. and their albums:

Esbjörn Svensson Trio, The Best Trio of All Times:
The review for When Everyone Has Gone:
The review for Winter in Venice:
The review for From Gagarin's Point of View:
The review for Good Morning Susie Soho:
The review for Strange Place For Snow:
The review for Seven Days of Falling:
The review for Viaticum:
The review for Leucocyte:
The review for 301:

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