Monday, June 26, 2006

Not bad, plus

Why the Swedes in E.S.T. are not like the Bad Plus, a lot of bad comparisons by bad music writers notwithstanding.

Bad Plus: jazz with a rock sensibility and a nod to the classical, group improvisation. E.S.T. (short for Esbjörn Svensson Trio, kind of): jazz with a classical sensibility and a nod to rock. Heavier on the electronica, not as heavy on the avant-garde flavoring, discrete solos as per traditional jazz. The Bad Plus often sounds like a much bigger band from sheer volume. E.S.T. sounds like a much bigger band because of the diversity in what it does with its instruments. Svensson sometimes makes like two pianists, and Dan Berglund like a bassist and guitarist at the same time. These guys, along with drummer Magnus Ostrom, are good.

On their latest, "Viaticum", 215, stick with "What Though the Way May Be Long," the last track, which doesn't actually end until long after 6:20.

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