Fridays Live: Tord Gustavsen Trio
Fridays Live • SFJAZZ At Home

Tord Gustavsen Trio

originally filmed on FEB 22, 2023

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Tord Gustavsen Trio

Tonight on Fridays Live, SFJAZZ presents Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen. “A Norwegian pianist of lyrical and often halcyon sensibilities” (NY Times), Gustavsen and his trio bring a stripped-down approach in which beauty and emotional intensity are united. His new ECM release, Opening, explores the concept of openness and taking inspiration from the forces that surround us.

A pianist of poetic cast, an exceptionally lucid player with a sure sense of melodic structure and an often-astonishing lyrical imagination.

Cool and mysterious, pristine and intensely emotional, the music of Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen has earned a vast following while making few populist concessions. Easily the most acclaimed composer and pianist on the Norwegian jazz scene, he’s released a series of critically hailed albums that have climbed high on the Norwegian pop charts, starting with his 2003’s ECM debut Changing Places.

Since making his West Coast debut for SFJAZZ in 2005, he’s continued to refine his lyrical approach steeped in blues and gospel, and marked by ravishing melodies, deliberate tempos, and surpassingly subtle interplay. It’s a sound that has commanded worldwide attention, an extraordinary achievement given the rich history of jazz piano. He focuses on lyricism in a stripped-down approach where beauty and emotional intensity are united. He writes most of his group’s material, memorable compositions that echo his days playing in church. His ninth album for ECM Records has just been released and is entitled Opening. On the session, the piano trio explores the idea of being open to the forces around you and letting them inspire what one plays, performing ten new Gustavsen compositions joined by works of Norwegian composers Geirr Tveitt and Egil Hovland.

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