Johan Lindvall Trio, This Is Not About You, Jazzland ***

If you are a progressively minded piano trio, particularly from anywhere in Europe then there is an elephant in the room: dealing with e.s.t., the groundbreaking Swedish trio cruelly cut short in their prime with the death of their remarkable …

Published: 19 Nov 2021. Updated: 14 days.

If you are a progressively minded piano trio, particularly from anywhere in Europe then there is an elephant in the room: dealing with e.s.t., the groundbreaking Swedish trio cruelly cut short in their prime with the death of their remarkable pianist Esbjörn Svensson in 2008 at just 44 in a scuba diving accident. To their credit I can detect no wholescale copying of Svensson in fellow Swede Johan Lindvall's style (Adrian Myhr on double bass and Andreas Skår Winther on drums complete the line-up). Instead Lindvall flits about into the avant-garde almost on 'Listen' and on 'Gettin' Out' into territory another Swedish best selling jazz pianist Martin Tingvall inhabits.

At some point in the future a robot will be programmed to play like the Lindvall trio and engineers could certainly do worse than train their technology on their pristine sound given its sleek lines and polite manner as an exemplifier of elegant middle-of-the-road piano trio sounds circa 2021. There's a lot to like on 'Give Up' a riff-based track that has a loose feel eventually. And yet the main talking point is the trio's overly perky version of Karen O's woozy 'Rapt'. I'm not blown away by any of this by any means. But This Is Not About You is very hard to dislike. The irony, given how the first track is titled 'Imagine Something Different' and the imagining isn't so very different overall, is inescapable.

Tags: Albums and EPs

Florian Arbenz, Francois Moutin, Maikel Vistel, Conversation #4: Vulcanized, Own Label ***

Vein drummer Florian Arbenz has a fine driving sense to his playing. It's a different context we find him in here but not one that might be alien to the sounds we appreciate him for. He's involved in a marathon effort to make a dozen albums with a …

Published: 19 Nov 2021. Updated: 14 days.

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Vein drummer Florian Arbenz has a fine driving sense to his playing. It's a different context we find him in here but not one that might be alien to the sounds we appreciate him for. He's involved in a marathon effort to make a dozen albums with a dozen line-ups and here working from his own studio in Basel Vulcanized finds Arbenz, who is from Switzerland, with Cuban saxophonist Maikel Vistel and French bassist François Moutin. Bill Evans classic 'Waltz for Debbie' is a sentimental way to end the set. But drummers looking for the more in-your-face parts of the album will be more interested in what Arbenz does on Eddie Harris' 'Freedom Jazz Dance'. On it a tumble of ideas provides an open door for the trio to enter into the groove. And without a word of invitation they unfailingly do. Available via Bandcamp