A heavyweight listen that rewards maximum concentration this trio of pianist Bobo Stenson, bassist Anders Jormin and drummer-percussionist Jon Fält has been together for a long time and there is a gravitas to what they do that such a long association has helped create. It is no exaggeration to claim that the Stenson trio is one of the greatest jazz piano trios in Europe of recent decades and this latest output recorded last year only goes to underline that idea. Stenson shares a lot in common with the late John Taylor and fans of JT will locate a certain solace and beyond in this Lugano recording when they listen to Stenson. While often an austere listen shaped around compositions (and arrangements) by Jormin and with repertoire also spanning the Norwegian pianist and composer Alfred Janson, Danish composer Per Nørgård, Swedish composer Sven-Erik Bäck and the great Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius, Stenson escapes the barriers of any structures to radiate outwards his particular sense of freedom. And you get this factor especially on Jormin's hugely expansive piece 'Kingdom of Coldness'. Fält's touch at the beginning of 'Communion Psalm' is perfect and here Stenson's devout statement and recapitulation of his theme has a dimensional exactitude that is almost baroque in its sense of discipline and immaculate symmetry. 'You Shall Plant a Tree' from Sphere is streaming. The full album release date is 17 March.
Bobo Stenson trio's Contra la indecisión - 2018 review
Bobo Stenson trio's Indicum - 2012 review
Jon Fält, Bobo Stenson, Anders Jormin. Photo: Caterina Di Perri/ECM