With Seven Days of Falling e.s.t., consisting of pianist EsbjÃ¶rn Svensson, bassist Dan Berglund and percussionist Magnus OstrÃ¶m, moves even further towards song form, and ups the ante in terms of what has traditionally been more subtle electronic processing. Mingle in the Mincing- Machine starts with a fuzz bass and clangy industrial-sounding percussion that drives a bouncy melody before moving into a rhythmical ostinato over which Berglund delivers a raucous solo. Svensson's solo is more subtly treated, with light washes in the background. Still, while the electronics are more overt than before, e.s.t. manages to use them in a refreshing way that adds to the music without completely defining it.
Contrasting uptempo tunes like the bass-driven Did They Ever Tell Cousteau, and the weighty O.D.R.I.P., the album also has its share of tender moments, including the sparse opener, Ballad for the Unborn. Regardless of the context, the constant throughout is Svensson's innate lyricism and ability to weave a convincing story with his improvisations, as on Elevation of Love, which leans towards a Metheny/Mays writing style.
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On Saturday March 9, 2002 a select number of people assembled at midnight for a secret release party - by invitation only - at Londons legendary Pizza Express Jazzclub, the same place that had been the inspiration for e.s.t.s former Good Morning Susie Soho album. It was like a Whos Who of Europes festival programmers, record company executives and journalists. And the event? The release party for e.s.t.s brand new album Strange Place for Snow. That evening was to signify the starting point for the international breakthrough of the band.
Nearly 100 concerts (in 18 countries) and 6 major European awards later, the band had taken Europe by storm. e.s.t. had been voted best international act by the Victoires du Jazz in France and by the BBC in England. They had received the German Jazz Award and the German Critics Award for the Best Album of the Year. They had been given the Guiness Jazz in Europe Award in Ireland and the Revelation of the Festival Award at Midem in Cannes. Strange Place for Snow nearly tripled sales of previous e.s.t. albums and even took the band to the USA where it was released by Sony Columbia. As a result, the band played a complete tour of the States - probably the only European jazz act that did so in 2002.
On Monday March 10, 2003 almost exactly a year after that remarkable evening in London Esbjorn Svensson, Magnus OstrÃ¶m, and Dan Berglund met at Stockholms Atlantis studio to begin sessions for a new album. It took them eight days to record and five days to mix Seven Days of Falling - an unusual amount of time for a jazz recording and more in keeping with a pop production. This whole approach reflects the philosophy of the band - whether it be their live performances (they have their own sound and lighting engineers), their image, or their recordings (prepared in week-long rehearsals, culminating in two recording sessions, each one four days long). Nothing is left to chance - attention to detail can be seen throughout the entire process.
To gain the necessary inspiration the band likes to take time off in the months previous to a recording. Residents of EsbjÃ¶rns home town Enskededalen (which is located on the outskirts of Stockholm) can witness the long walks of their now famous musician through the nearby woods. I love to walk - two three hours a day - no problem - it gives me inspiration. This inspiration is the key to the music of e.s.t., to the melodies that catch your ear and pull you into their magical world.
During the ten years between the recording of their first album When Everyone Has Gone (Dragon 1993) and Seven Days of Falling, the band has grown together and formed its own unmistakable voice and sound. They have never followed trends or mimicked past heroes: e.s.t. have created their own music and their own style.
None of the trio took the conventional route of the jazz musician by attending university and learning about how their forefathers played, or how to be technically perfect. As a result, their ears have been open to all types of music and approaches to playing - which is probably why you get answers like The Police or Deep Purple or Radiohead or Aphex Twin when you ask them their favourite bands.
Seven Days of Falling is the most mature recording of e.s.t. to date. It is a development that can be traced back to Dodge the Dodo from From Gagarins Point of View, continued with Spam-Boo-Limbo and the hidden track on Good Morning Susie Soho (on which e.s.t. experimented with the most amount of electronics and unusual sounds than ever before) to Behind the Yashmak on 2001s Strange Place for Snow album.
Seven Days of Falling features wonderful ballads Ballad for the Unborn and Why She didnt Come and guides us through great musical landscapes, but it is songs like O.D.R.I.P. and Elevation of Love that set the pace. The e.s.t. magic that has captured so many admirers is still very much present in their compelling themes, EsbjÃ¶rn Svenssons seductive piano melodies, bassist Dan Berglunds use of bow and sound effects (with Hendrix-like results) and drummer Magnus OstrÃ¶ms accelerating drum n bass beats.
Asked what creates the magic of e.s.t. recordings and concerts most people say that it is in between what is being played. EsbjÃ¶rn, Dan, and Magnus leave room for the music to breathe into the minds and souls of the audience.
The album will be out in the shops on September 22, 2003 and twelve days before this, the band will once more host a legendary release party. This time it will take place in Paris Cite de la Musique - not a club, but a 1.100 seat theatre, the large size of which reflects the success of the band in the past year. 89 concerts are planned for 2003, a tour in the US as support to K.D. Lang, tours in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden and Canada and performances in the capitals of England, Spain, Portugal and Italy. For the first time e.s.t. will tour in Japan. Due to their enormous success and high demand for tickets, they will be playing larger concert halls, rather than small clubs.
e.s.t. have become one of Swedens success stories and when EsbjÃ¶rn opens the shows with his we are e.s.t. from Sweden, everybody is taken by the charm and modesty of these Ambassadeurs of great music.
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EsbjÃ¶rn Svensson Trio - Seven days of falling 2003
(Stockholm Superstudio gul)
1. Ballad for the unborn
2. Seven days of falling
3. Mingle in the mincing-machine
4. Evening in Atlantis
5. Did they ever tell Cousteau?
6. Believe beleft below
7. Elevation of love
8. In my garage
9. Why she couldn't come
EsbjÃ¶rn Svensson, piano, keyboards, percussion
Dan Berglund, bas, percussion
Magnus OstrÃ¶m, trummor