Europe’s #1 jazz act and one of the most exciting trio’s worldwide, Sweden’s e.s.t., the Esbjorn Svensson Trio’s, will be touring the U. S. in conjunction with their highly-acclaimed new CD Viaticum, released in the U.S. on 215 Records, October 25. Released in Europe in January 2005, Viaticum has already made it into the pop charts in France, Germany and Sweden and is the follow-up to the 215 Records release of Seven Days of Falling, released in 2003. The group has received Critics Poll Awards in 2004 and 2005 from Downbeat Magazine and upcoming CD has already drawn advance press attention—including an upcoming cover story in the November issue of Jazziz Magazine
On Viaticum, e.s.t. sounds more like e.s.t. than ever before. "We developed a bit of a personal sound, a personal way of playing music," explains Svensson, the pianist who, along with bassist Dan Berglund and drummer Magnus Ostrom, forms e.s.t. "We always try to go for a way of playing that is e.s.t. It's very hard to analyze it. But you know it instantly when you're playing it."
e.s.t. takes the shape of a classic piano trio, yet ventures far beyond what listeners have come to expect from that familiar set-up. Though as elemental in conception as such benchmark groups as the great Bill Evans Trio that recorded Waltz for Debby or Keith Jarrett's long-running Standards Trio, e.s.t. reaches to reflect influences that both precede jazz and point miles ahead of its traditions and tropes.
Viaticum does not disappoint. The opening "Tide of Trepidation," for instance, rolls out across seven minutes of contemplative interaction: Svensson improvising on a simple melodic line while Berglund counters with the gently urgent repetition of a handful of notes. The tune immediately establishes the musicians' conversational style. It's nearly telepathic, seemingly effortless, and unforced. e.s.t. often comes up with clever names for its pieces – going back to such earlier albums as Good Morning Susie SoHo (2000) and Gagarin's Point of View (1999).