What a year. The first one without Mats Eilertsen
on bass since he joined my ensemble in 2009 – and I managed quite well! We
have played with Sigurd Hole on bass from São Paulo to Wellington. So
grateful for the way Sigurd entered into the band and the repertoire. The
quartet organism has really kept evolving, new tunes have been added, and
I’m really looking forward to continuing this journey.
Now, to all my Facebook friends: I will be moving all activity to the Tord Gustavsen ‘artist page’. It turned out there was already such a page existing, established by the German ECM distributor after the quartet album release in 2012, but I have not really known about it or been updating it at all. Still, it has over 6000 ‘likes’. And I am looking forward, now, to bringing as many as possible of the friends from my personal Facebook account with me over here and create an even better platform for communication, responses, tour updates, exclusive musical gifts, etc. So, be sure to like and follow the fan page – starting now very soon with an exclusive pre-taste of the upcoming album.
I feel huge and deep gratitude for the process in the quartet during the year, as I am now saying a very temporary goodbye to Sigurd Hole and Tore Brunborg. We will surely keep playing together, but first half of 2016 I will be playing more or less exclusively with a brand new project (although still with the one and only Jarle Vespestad on drums - see below).
We have not done extensive Europe touring this year, but rather a number of selected venues near and far – among them the Brazil concerts in São Paolo and Rio de Janeiro in March, and the Australia/New Zealand adventure in June, really stand out; along with concerts in Switzerland, Italy, UK and Norway. Fantastic audiences all along, and Melbourne remains among my very favourite cities to play and visit. Wellington added itself boldly to the list, though – the beautiful Opera House, the great vibes, the view from the mountain after the morning run (although sound engineer Daniel was the only one who really ran all the way up). Wow. And the samba group playing an ad hoc set at the beach bar in Rio; what a great band, might seem as a totally touristic cliché from the outside – but the groove was so stimulatingly good and the interplay so alive, and the musicians so good, that this actually made up one of the musical highlights of the year.
The interplay with Solveig Slettahjell has been a major side-project also in 2015. We have done a number of concerts with the “Arven” project in churches and at festivals – in duo format, as well as with the fantastic Nils Økland and Sjur Miljeteig added. Profound music-making in intensely slow tempos.
Another fantastic singer is Iranian Mahsa Vahdat. What a courageous woman and what a profound artist. We released an album called “Traces of an old vineyard”, that major UK world music magazine Songlines included on their list of the 10 best albums of the year! Here, I also played with Shervin Mohair on kamanche and Ali Rahimi on percussion. And it was the first time I combined the acoustic piano with electronics and synth bass on recording, arranging and conversing with Mahsa’s gorgeous melodies. A big and warm congratulations to Mahsa, Shervin, Ali, Erik, and Martin for this process.
I have been allowed to do six meditative jazz vespers in Sagene Church in Oslo, playing with fantastic partners Sigvart Dagsland, Håkon Kornstad, Solveig Slettahjell, Sondre Bratland, Benedicte Torget, and lastly with Øyvind Gimse on cello. And working with all the warm volunteers in the church, and my old friend Jon Hasle as the main partner. Thank you everyone for giving your gifts so generously in this setting. Doing something where the music is allowed to play a vital role indeed, but without it being a concert, feels really meaningful to me. A church service without too many words, with more open liturgy and space for contemplation, but still with a form that is clearly rooted in the church’s traditions.
Poetry and Elvis and other stuff
I have renewed the interplay with actress Cecilie Jørstad this year, at the launch of the new release by brilliant writer Hanne Bramness. Such a great book, and such inspiring dialogue between music and poetry recital. Also, we have worked on a 30 mini-chapters December thing called "Vintersong", which was introduced at NRK P2 radio a while ago, hopefully this project will be carried further and finalised in 2016. Working with Cecilie and with the writings of Lars Amund Vaage and Hanne Bramness means so much to me.
Developing further the music made with Synne Sanden has been a very good experience. We did a performance together with dancer Kristin Holand that felt so inspired. And we are secretly planning a band version of this project down the road..
Re-visiting the music of Elvis Presley (!) with singer Lisa Dillan, guitarist Asbjørn Lerheim and bassist Norbert Putman was also a thrill - great songs in totally new and very touching versions.
And I got to play two concerts with Kristin Asbjørnsen, one of them in the beautiful Avaldsnes Church outside Haugesund. It is now 25 years since we first met and started playing together. I almost can't believe it. What a journey. And the last concert felt fresher than ever..
Lastly (as a meaningful contrast to all the faith and believing..), I also attended the highly stimulating TVIL conference (meaning doubt / Zweifel) in Oslo, where I played spontaneous piano pieces in response to various talks and really interesting presentations, and where Tore Brunborg and I did a late evening duo concert, and where I improvised music together with writer Ingvill Rishøy reading one of her brilliant short stories.
The new project – Album release and touring
Having completed a double circle of album trilogies – first in the classical piano-bass-drums trio format (2003-2007), and then in a quartet/extended ensemble format (2009/10-2014) – I will in 2016 release an album that is at the same time strikingly different, and deeply connected to, what I have done before. The album will be called ‘What was said’, after one of the Rumi poems used. Hoping this music will also find you at home – and hoping to see as many as possible in concert.
The new album introduces the amazing Afghan-German vocalist Simin Tander, and keeps drummer Jarle Vespestad in the group. A big and warm thank you to the one and only Jarle for being with me all this years. (We will be celebrating our 500th concert anniversary in 2016..) I also play some subtle electronics and synth bass elements here, which I never thought I would do, but which actually came a long with such a natural and organic feel when I started experimenting with it a year and a half ago, cf. last years’ summing-up essay. [For the nerds: The electronics and sample layers are optically triggered by the acoustic piano, in addition I also sometimes use a micro-tonal lead synthesizer and a Moog bass-synth. Still, the acoustic piano is very much in the center of my set-up, and I have actually also become a Steinway Artist during the last couple of years.] Some concerts may actually find us playing a bit louder and with a different edge than before, but stripped-down lyrical minimalism and a meditative approach to music-making remains my core passion.
The repertoire of the new album is based on ancient Norwegian hymns – songs that I grew up with and that make up my deepest ‘standards’ as a jazz musician – transformed towards an almost Sufi-like shared spiritual universe, and translated into the hauntingly beautiful Pashto language. These hymns are then set into a dialogue with instrumental music, and with other new compositions with Sufi poetry. I am so looking forward to presenting the album and to taking the music on tour. We will be playing Vancouver and Montreal Jazz Festivals, San Francisco SF Jazz Festival, New York, plus an extended tour of Germany/Austria/Switzerland, Belgium/Netherlands, UK, and various places in Norway, including a special concert with Nils Petter Molvær joining us on trumpet. Full tour listing and an EPK video is just being made ready – check back for postings of this to be available shortly.
Summing up the summing up…:
Feeling so grateful for all these inspiring settings and wonderful people and strong yet humble music-makers. And let me close it all by paying special homage to sound designer Daniel Wold. Your presence in most of these projects as integrated band-member and touring companion; with technical and artistic excellence, continued enthusiasm, no-stress-efficiency (and tolerance for my low level squash playing) is so important for the concerts, and for my quality of life.
And the biggest thank you to all the people listening to the music live and on albums, for coming out to share our musical journeys, and for trusting us with your ears and your time. Thank you all so much – and see you in 2016!
Lots of long travels spring 2015. Playing in trio format with Jarle Vespestad and Sigurd Hole in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro March 27 and 28 respectively, at a two-city festival. Then, in June, we go all the way down under, to re-visit Melbourne (love that city - it's been six years since last time, so really looking forward to it, despite the insanely long flights on economy class..). We will play the Melbourne Jazz Festival in a very nice concert hall - two performances on the same day - June 4 (plus an on-stage interview with Tord the day before); then go on to Brisbane for the Jazz Festival there June 5; then to Wellington, NZ for the festival there June 7. Intense.. and exhausting - but Australia has been more than worth it every time so far. Details and links to venues/tickets here.
I feel huge gratitude for working with the
warmest, most brilliant, penetrating-yet-humble musicians, singers and sound
engineers I know.
We’ve had great audiences on three continents, in so many inspiring venues. The Oslo Opera House, SF Jazz Concert Hall in San Francisco, the impressive Jarasum outdoor stage in Korea, St. Peter’s Church in New York, Milton Court in London are but a few of the finest ones. More than 100 performances all in all.
Church concerts with Solveig Slettahjell – some with Nils Økland and Sjur Miljeteig added (such inspiring interplay) and some in duo format. In short: this is a healing project.
Playing with Mahsa Vahdat. A ‘side project’, but wow what a deep and stimulating one. She is such a great singer. Her new solo project includes Ali Rahimi on percussion and Shervin Mohair on kamancheh. Fantastic musicians, really inspiring me with their strong roots and open minds. And wonderful sufi poetry.
Also, before entering into this new project, I did a major tour in Sweden with the same Mahsa plus legendary Georg Riedel on bass, brilliant vocalist Sarah Riedel, Erik Rydvall on nyckelharpa (loved his playing so much) and the very sensitive virtuoso Pasha Hanjani on ney flute. Very interesting and fruitful pairing of Swedish Bellmann songs and Persian Khayyam poems.
Several other side projects. Among them, being the musical director for Kirkelig Kulturverksted’s 40 year’s celebration concert in Trondheim in August stands out. What an evening – spectacular setting outdoors by the historic Cathedral; a long list of fantastic singers; and a beautiful band.
Ending the year with five concerts with full symphony
orchestra – KORK – plus distinguished soloists Sondre Bratland, Solveig
Slettahjell, Rikard Wulf and others was also a thrill. As was the very special
concert with Kristin Asbjørnsen and Hanne Ørstavik earlier in December. It was
an honour, and a stimulating challenge, to work with one of my absolute
favourite writers reciting her own texts, and through this, placing my interplay
with Kristin (which remains fundamental to me after more than 20 years…) in a
very fresh context.
I have also participated in meditative jazz vespers in Sagene church in Oslo. These services will continue into 2015, with the first one happening February 19th. They are not concerts, rather liturgical gatherings with 15-20 minutes of music plus communal singing, readings and a short poetic sermon or sharing, and silence for contemplation.
Then, my own band. 2014 saw a new quartet album released, completing a double circle of trilogies on ECM Records. I feel strongly about ‘Extended Circle’; a tight and meaningful musical journey with a fresh sense of variation-in-unity, and fantastic ensemble playing from the others. And here’s what Downbeat said: “a stunningly beautiful recording. .. draws the listener in so completely – making us consider each note, each small gesture in its ethereal, shimmering whole .. nothing less than magical”. Big thanks to ECM for sticking with us with such dedication, and continuing to believe in the album format.
We have toured a lot – a US tour of San Diego, San
Francisco, Chicago and New York; the Montreal Jazz Festival; a 10 concert tour
of the UK; two weeks’ touring in Germany, plus gigs in France, Spain, Belgium,
Turkey, Poland, Romania, Korea and Norway.
And we did a peak concert in the Oslo Opera House in August with extended ensemble featuring the quartet plus the amazing Synne Sanden on vocals, plus Svante Henryson on cello, Audun Kleive on drums and Arve Henriksen on trumpet. What a team – and what an evening…
This year I’ve reached the end – at least for now – of my deep and important cooperation with bassist Mats Eilertsen. And we have welcomed Sigurd Hole into the quartet! It was sad to see Mats leave, and I will be forever grateful for all his contributions to my music. But it feels so right to have Sigurd’s voice in the band now. Looking forward to continuing the journey with him, Tore Brunborg and Jarle Vespestad.
Parallel to the quartet, I’ve started a new band, to
be premiered in Oslo January 17th – a trio format with the brilliant
Afghan-German vocalist Simin Tander, with Jarle Vespestad on drums, and yours
truly on piano and electronics and synth-bass (!).
About that: Who would have thought… Me, the devoted chamber-jazz acoustic-piano-only player, turning into a keyboard player with laptop on stage, soft synths, volume pedals, analogue Moog bass synthesiser, etc.. This has not taken away my primary passion for the grand piano, though – the piano remains my main instrument and my life-long field of passion and exploration. I don’t know how long and in what form the electronic additions to the acoustic piano will stay with me, but at the moment they feel very stimulating. My use of these sounds in concert ranges from extended periods of nothing at all, via very subtle sounds just adding some depth or contrast to the piano, all the way into the synths taking the front role for a while. This also seems to be doing my ‘pure’ piano playing a lot of good – looking at the piano from a new angle brought a lot of freshness to it. I was taken by surprise by this on many levels. I started working with the Moog ‘PianoBar’ (a device tracking piano key movement optically and translating these movement into midi signals) around April, having heard Morten Qvenild using it, and it just kept growing and has already become a part of my playing in several settings.
For the repertoire of the new project, Simin and I have been working with an Afghan poet, translating and shaping a selection of hymns that I grew up with in church in Norway into Pashto; the mother-tongue of Simin’s late father. This process has been interesting, challenging and really fruitful. We have gone quite far in interpreting the lyrics in what may be labeled a more ‘integral’ manner, reaching into a space where I feel that Sufism and Christianity actually meet, along with other contemplative traditions. It feels daring, but so natural at the same time. The Norwegian hymns are my ‘standards’ – reaching deeper down in my musical an spiritual being than the typical jazz canon. Setting out to make an album with more tunes that are not composed by me, this feels really right. The sound and feel of the Norwegian hymns in Pashto is truly captivating. So familiar and yet so mysterious. The sounds of these words in Simin’s voice would be more than enough to meditate on even if I didn’t understand the meaning. Deeply looking forward to taking this cooperation further.
Summing up the summing up…: thank you Universe for all these inspiring settings and wonderful people and strong yet humble music-makers. And let me close it all by paying special homage to sound designers David Solheim and Daniel Wold. Your presence in most of these projects as integrated band-members and touring companions; with technical and artistic excellence, continued enthusiasm, no-stress-efficiency (and tolerance for my low level squash playing) is so important for the concerts, and my quality of life. (Special thanks also to Tor Ditlevsen and Arminas Kazlauskas for brilliant light and visual designs at the Oslo Opera concert.) Thank you all so much – and see you all in 2015!
Deep gratitude for the journey – and more than a
touch of sadness – as Mats Eilertsen has now played his last concert with
the quartet. (Big thanks to the beautiful audience in Leeds yesterday!) Six
years and something like 250-300 concerts. Wow. We have made so much good
music together, been to so many places, met so many good people, and
connected on so many levels. Thank you for your unique and brilliant musicianship. For learning and always remembering all my tunes, and for
treating the compositions with such finesse and deep creative excellence.
As I look ahead now, sadness is definitely fading and being replaced with warm excitement. We will have a continuously developing quartet format with bass player Sigurd Hole. A very warm welcome, Sigurd! And there will be duo concerts with Tore Brunborg. And; there will be a new formation with Jarle Vespestad on drums and the amazing Simin Tander on vocals, where I will also do some electronics/synthesizer/bass-type work in addition to the acoustic piano. Really looking forward to taking this further – we have been rehearsing a little, and I feel profoundly enthusiastic about it.
On top of this, the songs I wrote together with Synne Sanden for the concert in the Oslo Opera with the extended ensemble this year, continue to develop. This material is now crystallising with its own band identity, both as a vocals–piano–synth–dance project with dancer Kristin Holand onboard, and also as a larger band down the road. More later…
iTunes Store just became significantly more attractive - with a dedicated 'ECM Room'. Lots of great stuff there, including a 'Mastered for iTunes' high res. version of our most recent album. Click on - www.iTunes.com/ecmrecords
Special project with Tord Gustavsen Extended Ensemble, featuring vocalist Synne Sanden, trumpeter Arve Henriksen, drummer Audun Kleive, and cellist Svante Henryson in addition to Tore Brunborg, Jarle Vespestad, Mats Eilertsen and Tord - opening the Oslo Jazz Festival 2014 in the Oslo Opera August 11th 2014. The concert is now sold out.
The official release concert for the upcoming album will be in Oslo, in Kulturkirken Jakob February 10th. Ticket info to appear shortly..
August 11, 2014 Tord Gustavsen will do the opening concert of the Oslo Jazz Festival in the spectacular Oslo Opera House. The evening will be called 'Extended Circles', and will embrace an extended spectrum of settings from trio, solo, and duo playing into a commissioned work for a larger ensemble including the brilliant young vocalist Synne Sanden. More info coming up.. For info in Norwegian, click here.
2014 will see a new album release! Very happy about the recorded music done in June this year -- really looking forward to releasing it. There will be touring in Germany, USA, Norway and the UK ++.
A 10 days' UK tour March 2014 is already fully booked - details as follows..
07/03: Edinburgh (The Queen’s Hall)
08/03: Nottingham (Djangoly Recital Hall)
09/03: London (Milton Court)
11/03: Southampton (Turner Sims Concert Hall)
12/03: Bury St. Edmunds (The Apex)
13/03: Bristol (St. Georges)
14/03: Birmingham (Birmingham Jazz)
15/03: Manchester (Royal Northern College of Music)
16/03: Wolverhampton (Arena Theatre)
Also, we will be in San Francisco Feb 26, plus Portland Feb 25 and hopefully a couple of more US dates that week.
And Germany end of March - and Norway some time spread around February.. details to appear here shortly.
We've found a new date for the postponed Istanbul concert: December 10, 2013 - at the AKBank Sanat center. Web site for tickets and more info tba.
Also, we are coming to Turkey October 30 2013 to play in Ankara - info web site tba.
Unfortunately, the promoter can not go through with our sold-out concert in Istanbul June 21, 2013 -- due to the current situation with demonstrations, violence and uncertainty in the city. All our sympathies and best wishes to the good people of Turkey. Hoping to come back with a confirmed replacement date as soon as possible.
'The Well' made All About Jazz' John Kellman's list of top 15 albums 2012. http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=43549#.UNoFHL-9Kc1 His review of the album is worth reading..
Major Norwegian daily newspaper Dagbladet voted Tord Gustavsen Quartet's The Well best Norwegian jazz album in 2012 - read the full story.
2013 preview - Washington DC and Los Angeles:
The Tord Gustavsen Ensemble will perform in the Terrace Theater of the Kennedy Center in Washington DC March 3, 2013 and the Da Camera Society in Los Angeles March 5.
The DC concert is a part of the festival called 'Nordic Cool', presenting the finest music, dance, literature, culinary arts, visual arts etc. from the Nordic countries. Web presentation: http://www.kennedy-center.org/events/?event=XNINO
Here's a link to a presentation of th LA concert: http://dacamera.org/concert_info.php?products_id=224&osCsid=d70690de69f61091761ae15985b3ff79
2013 will also see concerts in Norway, St. Petersburg and other places.. Stay tuned for more updates..
Festival bookings keep updating. We just confirmed a concert at the main Norwegian Jazz Festival in Molde, where ECM Records will also be 'Label in Residence' this year.
Furthermore, there will be probably be a concert in Calabria, Italy August 19, supplementing the one already confirmed in Venice / Venezia August 2.
Tord Gustavsen Quartet's 'The Well' received great reviews in the May 2012 issues of US magazines DownBeat and JazzTimes.
The new album is now available in high quality 24BIT as well as full CD quality flac sound files from GubeMusic.
Is streaming the future of music distribution? Or is it a way of legally ripping off artists, composers and record labels while at the same time offering inferior sound quality? Probably a bit of both. Anyway, ECM Records has decided to draw the entire catalogue from all streaming services for now. We have not been on Spotify for quite a while -- and now we are also not on WiMP.
Like it or not - this is how it is for now, and it gives me the chance to once again promote the great download service GubeMusic, where our our albums are available in full sound quality. The music may also be purchased in iTunes, in compressed format. The physical album remains ECM's highest priority and main concern, though. And holding a record with proper cover art etc. is still something special -- I highly recommend it.. To purchase the physical CDs, turn to your record store if you are lucky enough to live near a good one, or go online to your branch of Amazon (amazon.com / amazon.co.uk / amazon.fr / amazon.de) -- they will send it out quickly. In Norway, Platekompaniet is also an efficient and good site for ordering physical albums.
A big and warm thank you to all the great audiences around our 10 days' tour of the UK March 2012. We really enjoyed the tour and the inspiring venues. Also, some really good reviews have appeared:
"masterpiece of the understated" (John Fordham, The Guardian - read the entire review)
"The melodies ... were rich and their slow-motion groove was deep. It was as if the band had stumbled upon some very strong and mildly intoxicating tranquillisers. If so, I wish they’d tell us where." (Jack Massarik, London Evening Standard)
".. a set that was quietly but profoundly gripping." (Rob Adams, The Herald - read the entire review)
The Jazz Breakfast: http://thejazzbreakfast.com/2012/03/24/concert-review-tord-gustavsen-quartet/
We will be back in the UK for the Bath festival June 4th.
The Montreal Jazz Festival has invited Tord Gustavsen to do a "By Invitation" residency series of four concerts with different line-ups at their 33rd edition of the festival. Tord will perform with the following projects:
July 4th: Tord Gustavsen Quartet -- "Music From the Well"
July 5th: Gustavsen / Kornstad / Vespestad project -- "Symphonies in Our Heads"
featuring Håkon Kornstad on sax, flutonette, loops and voice
July 6th: Tord Gustavsen Solo
July 7th: Solveig Slettahjell / Tord Gustavsen Duo -- "Sacred Lullabies"
More info from the Montreal press release:
Tickets and festival web site's presentation: Festival International de Jazz de Montréal July 2012
The Tord Gustavsen Ensemble will perform in the Kennedy Center in Washington DC March 3, 2013. The concert is a part of the festival called 'Nordic Cool', presenting the finest music, dance, literature, culinary arts, visual arts etc. from the Nordic countries. Stay tuned for more info on this and on connecting concerts in the US. Web presentation: http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/newseason/nordic_cool.html
'The Well' entered as no. 7 after release. In its second week it climbed to no. 4 on the official Norwegian album charts.
The release concert for 'The Well' in Oslo February 19th in the Oslo Opera
House Scene 2, is now more or less sold out.
More info..: Oslo release concert sold out
"The Well" is CD de Monats in both leading German Hi-Fi magazines -- "selten hat Musik eine solche physische Präsenz" (Tilman Urbach, Fono Forum)
Topp score (Terningkast 6) in
Dagbladet (Norway) and Choc award in Jazz Magazine (France)
Read the first reviews of the new album
The new album is now available for full CD quality download at the brilliant GubeMusic web store.
Tord and the band appearing on national Norwegian TV (NRK) - all in
Førkveld (interview plus live music), and
Dagsrevyen (National prime time news - interview with some music)
The new album "The Well" is now available. Amazon will send physical CDs quickly and efficiently when ordered, and you may also be lucky enough to live near a good CD store.. For full CD quality online download, I recommend using the brilliant GubeMusic web store - the album will be available there shortly.
The first version of our 2012 concert listing is out - concerts in France, Norway, Germany and the UK. Click Live to view.
The full 10 days' UK tour March 16-25 is out with links to venue presentation and ticket bookings. Tickets are already selling well for the Lonon concert March 18th in Queen Elizabeth Hall -- so it may be time to start booking yours..
In 2012, Tord Gustavsen Ensemble in quartet format will present a new album on ECM Records. The release is scheduled for January/February 2012 in most countries. The album will be followed by touring in the UK, France, Germany, Norway and other European countries in spring. Most probably, the US and other territories will follow autumn 2012. Tickets are already selling well for the Lonon concert March 18th in Queen Elizabeth Hall -- stay tuned for concert listings and more touring info shortly.
It has been a while since the Tord Gustavsen Trio played with TrondheimSolistene chamber orchestra. Now, a new project 'with strings' is coming up: Tord Gustavsen Ensemble with the Arctic Chamber Orchestra in Tromsø, Norway November 17th. The performance is part of the Barentsjazz Festival. This concert will present new arrangements and fresh angles to some of Tord Gustavsen's well known repertoire from the trio and ensemble periods, as well as previews from the upcoming 2012 album release. There will also be new compositions written especially for this cooperation.
The Tord Gustavsen Ensemble concert at the piano festival at La Roque d'Anthéron in France July 2011 (what a beautiful venue..!) is edited and posted on Arte Live Web at the following link: http://liveweb.arte.tv/fr/video/Tord_Gustavsen_Ensemble_la_Roque_d_Antheron/
The release concert for "Restored, Returned" in Oslo October 2009 is now available in HD on YouTube. It is posted as 14 separate videos as well as a playlist with the following link: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=34D52E4D589583D3
The Norwegian 'popular' composer's association NOPA has granted Tord Gustavsen an award for best composition in 2010 -- for the work "Intuition". This piece has not yet been recorded and released, but has been performed on a number of ensemble concerts from March through November 2010, mainly in Germany, Canada, and Norway. We hope to include it on our next album -- which hopefully won't be too far away...
Click to read more info about the award in Norwegian.
The Tord Gustavsen Trio album "The Ground" from 2005 has just reached an impressive sale of 15,000 copies in Germany alone. The album has also sold to gold status with more than 20,000 copies in Norway.
Brilliant radio journalist Guttorm Andreasen is hosting a monthly English language web cast on Norwegian music called "99 minutes". The latest edition of the program features a lengthy interview with Tord Gustavsen. You can tune in with the following link: http://www.listento.no/mic.nsf/doc/art2010081612422029193408
http://www.listento.no/mic.nsf/doc/art2010081612422029193408 The Tord Gustavsen Ensemble in quartet format has just concluded a Canadian tour of the Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal jazz festivals. A big thank you to all the people in the very appreciative audiences -- looking forward to next time in Canada. French Arte TV has published an web interview with concert excerpts from the Montreal concert on the following link: http://www.arte.tv/fr/Comprendre-le-monde/arte-journal/montreal/3299772,CmC=3306394.html
The recent album by Tord Gustavsen Ensemble "Restored, Returned" has won the Norweigan Grammy award (Spellemannsprisen) for 2009. A big thank you to the ensemble for contributing so brilliantly on the recording and in concerts. Thanks also to ECM Records for releasing the album world-wide; and to the Norwegian ECM distributor Grappa for excellent work and reliability. Lastly, thanks to all the people who listen to us; and those who still believe in the album format as a musical journey -- who sit down and listen with contemplation in a world of so much multi-tasking.
An eight minute video with selected moments from the release concert of "Restored, Returned" in Oslo, Norway November 2009 is published on the Internet on the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPd_exqcFh0
An almost complete listing of concerts January through May 2010 is published on the "Live" section. The semester brings touring in Norway, Portugal, USA and Germany - plus one-offs in Bulgaria and Belgium. Summer 2010 will see a tour of Canadian festivals. More concerts for summer and second half of 2010 will follow shortly.
Following the pre-release and tours in Norway and the UK, fresh album and live reviews are quoted and linked in the critics section.
A new Tord Gustavsen album is ready for release. The long awaited session "Restored, Returned" with Tord's extended ensemble will be in stores world-wide early 2010. And a pre-release is scheduled mid-October 2009 for UK and Norway to coincide with touring (cf. Live). There will be a full scale UK tour in October; release concerts in Norway in November, and a main performance at the London Jazz Festival November.
Then, a brief preview of touring plans spring 2010:
... more details to follow shortly
In 2008, Tord Gustavsen works with somewhat more flexible line-ups - in duo, trio and quartet settings. He presented a commissioned work for the Vossajazz Festivel in Norway March 2008 that became the starting point for his new Tord Gustavsen Ensemble, featuring Tore Brunborg on saxophones, Mats Eilertsen on bass and Jarle Vespestad on drums. For the full version of the commissioned work, the ensemble also includes Kristin Asbjørnsen on sung vocals and Cecilie Jørstad on read poetry.
Autumn 2008, Tord will perform with Tore Brunborg, Mats Eilertsen, Svante Henryson, Jarle Vespestad and Rune Arnesen in different settings in Poland, Belgium, Spain, UK (cf. Live). He will do duo concerts with singer Solveig Slettahjell and with clarinetist Carl Petter Opsahl in Norway, and play with bass clarinetist Ulrich Drechsler and drummer Jörg Nichola in Austria.
Tord Gustavsen Trio will play at Melbourne Jazz Festival May 3, 2008. On our way down under we will also do a showcase concert in Singapore April 29th at the Norwegian Embassy residence.
Tord Gustavsen Trio will perform in Vancouver (Canada) February 13; in San Diego (California) February 14; and at the Portland Jazz Festival (Oregon) February 16th - cf. Live.
Tord Gustavsen Trio's 2007 album 'Being There' is voted the jazz critics' album of the year in the UK magazine 'Jazz Review'.
Tord Gustavsen Trio's 2005 relese 'The Ground' has recently reached 'gold' sales figures in Norway - 20.000 copies. This is very unusual for an instrumental album, indeed for jazz in general.
Tord Gustavsen Trio will do a full scale tour of Northern Norway late November / early December 2007. The tour will include Vadsø, Tromsø, Bodø and three more cities. The Live calendar will be updated with full details shortly.
Tord Gustavsen Trio will return to Istanbul for two concerts, September 3rd and 4th (cf. Live), marking the Turkish release of 'Being There'. The concert at the AKBank Jazz Festival in Istanbul in 2005 was a great experience, and we're really looking forward to this project.
Tord Gustavsen Trio is invited to the jazz festival in Cluny, Burgund - France August 24 for the second (and last) concert in France this year.
Several additional reviews of the new album are now quoted on the 'Critics' pages -- both in English, French and German, including high praises from the US Billboard Magazine.
"Being There" got a great review and was featured as CD of the week in Irish Times. Click to read more UK & Ireland reviews..
"Being There" has received the "CHOC" critical award in the leading French jazz magazine Jazzman. Click to read more French reviews..
Tord Gustavsen Trio will perform under the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal 2007; July 2nd in the beautiful venue called Gesù.
Really good reviews of the new album have appeared in major UK newspapers The Guardian and Independent on Sunday, with the latter describing the completed trilogy of albums as possibly 'the most essential jazz document of the last ten year'. See the Critics section for more quotes and links.
The new release "Being There" received great reviews in Norwegian press following the pre-release in this country. Dagbladet gave a maximum 6 star review, and several main newspapers have printed extensive interviews with Tord in connection with the release. See the Critics section for more quotes and links.
Tord Gustavsen Trio is releasing its third CD on ECM Records, called "Being There" spring 2007. Norway gets a pre-release April 10th. The rest of Europe will follow in April or early May, and the US release is set to June 5th.
In Norway, there will be an official release concert in Oslo, Norway at Cosmopolite Saturday, April 14th. There will also be a concert in Trondheim May 2nd (Olavshallen), and then the trio will do a full scale tour of Germany May 3-10, ending with a festival appearance at Bury / St. Edmunds, UK. Turn to the Live section for specifics on dates and places.
Autumn of 2007 will also see touring in the UK and the USA. More one-offs at fesivals during the summer will be announced shortly.
Vocal ensemble Trio Mediæval will be featured as the main ensemble-in-residence under "Festspillene" in Bergen, Norway 2007. One of their perforamnces will be with us -- a new take on the material performed by the two trios together for the first time summer 2006 in Harstad. The project is built on compositions by Tord Gustavsen with lyrics from the writings of 13th Century Sufi mystic Jelaluddin Rumi. The two trios enter into a highly original dialogue between striking vocal 'miniatures', instrumental pieces, and improvisations. Rumi's poems shine with ancient longing and subtle passion; fuelled by a desire for true love and unification.
The concert will take place in "Grieghallen", Bergen - Norway, May 29th 2007.
Tord Gustavsen Trio will release its third CD on ECM Records April 2007. The album was recorded late December 2006, following a year of extensive touring. There will be an official release concert in Oslo, Norway at Cosmopolite Saturday, April 14th. (Mark that the previous date of March 28th announced earlier has been postponed!) There will be a concert in Trondheim May 2nd (Olavshallen), and then the trio will do a full scale tour of Germany May 3-10. Autumn of 2007 will also see touring in the UK and the USA. More one-offs at fesivals during the summer will be announced shortly, cf. the Live section.
An intense week in Poland is over -- a big thank you to all the people who came the our concerts. The tour was a very inspiring event; with full houses and great venues in five different cities. Hope to be back... Click to view pictures from the Warsaw concerts.
On short notice, the trio flew to Timisoara in Romania December 1st to perform at the Jazz Banat Festival. First time ever in Romania, this was a very inspiring encounter with an enthusiastic audience in a beatifully restored opera and theater house.
The Warsaw concert November 26 at 20:00 is now sold out. However, the promoters are organizing a second concert at 17:00, so it is still possible to get tickets in the capital city. Here's the strategic info for ordering tickets: Fabryka Trzciny, ul. Otwocka 14, ticket line: +48-22-818-60-39, 692-14-30.
We're between tours of the US this year. 2005 brought us over for 8 concerts including LA, NYC, San Francisco, DC and the Spoleto Charleston Festival. 2007 will probably see a new major US tour. This year, while focusing primarily on Europe and Australia, we'll still fly over for one exclusive performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC December 7th (cf. the Live section). This concert is organized in cooperation with the Norwegian Embassy to the US, and forms a part of their Christmas cultural program series. It is still a normal concert open to the public, and in a superb venue. So -- to all followers in the DC area -- you are very welcome, and bring your friends!
Tord Gustavsen Trio will be touring in Poland in November, with concerts in Warsaw, Wroclaw, Bielsko, Chorzów, and Kalisz. The dates and places are mostly set, cf. the Live section -- although a few minor changes may occur.
Tord Gustavsen Trio's release "The Ground" won the Australian Jazz Award for best international album of the year. More info: http://www.jazz.org.au/features/95
Tord Gustavsen Trio will perform with the three sopranos of Trio Mediaeval in a world premiere collaboration concert in Harstad, Northern Norway, June 28.
Back home from an inspiring encounter with Australian and Korean audiences January 2006, we are very pleased to find some really moving reviews following our concerts. Several quotes are presented in the Critics section (live reviews are placed at the bottom of the page, cd reviews at the top). Or: click to read the full-length piece from Melbourne daily The Age by journalist Jessica Nicholas.
Tord Gustavsen Trio and internationally acclaimed string orchestra TrondheimSolistene (Trondheim Soloists) will perform together for the second time in Stavanger, Norway, February 22nd 2006, at Stavanger Konserthus. The collaboration was initiated at the Trondheim Chamber Music Festival September 2005, with all new arrangements by Tord Gustavsen. We're really looking forward to doing it again..
--> Click to read a presentation of the project in Norwegian.
After playing an almost packed Oslo Concert House main hall November 2005, we are pleasantly surprised that another major Oslo venue has invited us to perform already in February 2006: The trio will perform at "Rockefeller" February 21. Full listing of confirmed concert dates for spring 2006 will be available very soon...
Tord Gustavsen Trio and internationally acclaimed string orchestra TrondheimSolistene (Trondheim Soloists) played together for the first time at the Trondheim Chamber Music Festival September 2005, using arrangements and compositions by Tord Gustavsen. Both the trio and the orchestra are eager to repeat this project -- and we are open for bookings. Scandinavian bookings are made through Musikkprofil -- world wide bookings through the appropriate booking agent for your territory or directly via Tord Gustavsen Music (cf. Contact Info).
--> Click to read a presentation of the project in Norwegian.
Tord Gustavsen Trio will be back in Australia January 2006 for concerts in Sydney and Melbourne. Our first encounter with Australian audiences at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz in 2004 was really great -- hope to see some of you again!
We will play in City Recital Hall for the Sydney Festival January 15, and in the Melba Hall in Melbourne January 17. On our way home we will probably also play in Seoul and Tokyo. More information about concerts in 2006 will be published soon on the "Live" section of this web site.
Tord Gustavsen Trio will do its first performance ever with a string orchestra at the Trondheim Chamber Music Festival in Norway September 28th 2005. The Trondheim Soloists (TrondheimSolistene) is among the finest chamber ensembles in Norway; we're really looking forward to hearing their sound with our music. Arrangements will be by Tord Gustavsen.
The trio's concert at the Lichfield festival (UK) July 2005 received an exellent review in The Independant.
Tord Gustavsen Trio is scheduled to play the main philharmonic Concert Hall in Oslo, Norway (Konserthuset) November 7th 2005. Numbered seats; be sure to order in advance -- tickets are already available.
The Tord Gustavsen Trio can be experienced live at a number of European festival 2005, along with the Spoleto USA festival in Charleston, SC June 4th. Among the European performances are Istanbul (Turkey); Vienna (Austria), Manchester, Brecon, Snape and Lichfield (UK); Kongsberg, Bodø, Bergen and Lillehammer (Norway). Turn to the Live section for details.
Several new album reviews in English, French, and German have been posted on the web site today -- cf. Critics. The Ground has been really well received in publications like Süddeutsche Zeiting, New York Times, Time Out New York, Oxford Times, Jazzman France, Stereophile USA, JazzTimes, Billboard Magazine, etc.. -- and slaughtered in the Danish Jazz Speciel..
The trio will celebrate the French release of 'The Ground' with a Paris concert at the 'Café de la Danse' May 26. This is the only scheduled France concert this year, so don't miss it! Click for more info and reservations.
The Ground entered no. 8 and climbed to no. 7 on the US Billboard Traditional Jazz Charts in its second week; very rare for a European cd..
The May 2005 issue of JazzTimes presents Tord Gustavsen in an in-depth feature article. Click to read an excerpt.. The magazine also gave a very favourable review of 'The Ground' (cf. Critics)
Following release concerts in Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium, the trio now sets off for two gigs in Japan and a ten days' tour of the USA in April. Several major cities are included in the tour schedules, among them New York City, San Francisco and Tokyo -- you'll find the concert nearest to you if you consult the Live section.
The new trio album has received overwhelming reviews in several major German magazines and newspapers. Piano News writes: "Mit The Ground, dem zweiten Werk dieses formidablen Trios, wird der 35-jährige Pianist Gustavsen den Ruf als eines der hoffnungsvollsten und eigenständigsten Jazztalente seiner Generation weiter festigen können, so viel scheint sicher." Click to read more German reviews..
The new trio album receives an excellent review in the major UK magazine JazzWise. Stuart Nicholson writes: "Somehow this group draws you into its music, and each piece is a musical journey within the totality of the album itself. When the album is over you realize the extent to which this group has probed into the very heart of musical meaning. .. There really is not a piano trio in the whole of jazz that sounds like Gustavsen’s." The record has also received praise in The Observer, The Guardian, The Wire, The Indepandant, and several other UK publications. Click to read more English reviews..
As did also the debut "Changing Places", the new trio album "The Ground" has received the "CHOC" critical award in the leading French jazz magazine Jazzman. Click to read more French reviews..
In its second week, the new trio album "The Ground" climbed to no. 1 on the official Norwegian album sales charts (VG-lista). Quite overwhelming; and very unusual for an instrumental cd.. Great reviews have appeared in major Norwegian newspapers, and now we're also seeing the first reviews from French and British press (cf. Critics).
The trio has recorded its second album for ECM Records, called "The Ground". Even though the session was done early in 2004, release is not happening until 2005. Dates are set between late January and early February in the different territories; in Norway we have January 24th. Great reviews have appeared in major Norwegian newspapers this week (cf. Critics).
The release will be followed by concerts in Norway, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Japan, Bulgaria and USA during the spring; and in the UK in July and October (cf. Live)
Tord Gustavsen Trio will do two concerts in Japan in April; one in Tokyo at the jazz club Pit Inn, and one at the Expo Ground in Nagoya (cf. Live). For tickets and more updates about the Japanese concerts, use the following contact info.
Following up the release of the second trio album "The Ground", we will be touring the US from April 20 until around April 30th. New York City is already confirmed for April 21 (Merkin Hall), and we'll probably end the tour in San Francisco. We'll visit Washington DC, Baltimore, Seattle and LA, too (cf. Live). Additional dates dates may still enter the list -- promoters interested in negotiating any remaining dates may address ECM's New York office, attention Sarah Humphries, e-mail: email@example.com
Tord Gustavsen Trio was invited to play at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz outside Melbourne, Australia October 2004. The trio did three concerts; October 29th, 30th and 31st; with great crowds every night. Really responsive audiencess -- thank you all!
Coinciding with these performances, our distributors in Australia and New Zealand offered an exclusive pre-release of the trio's second ECM album "The Ground" (cf. above). The rest of the world will have to wait until January/February 2005 -- maybe even a little later for the UK and the USA.
Following up the 14 gig tour in February 2004 visiting Germany, Denmark, Switzerland and Austria, the trio toured the UK with 9 concerts in April and May, including a concert in London recorded by BBC Radio 3. Several sold out houses, great audiences, and good vibes… Reviews are found on the ’Critics’ section.
Now, our UK agent Olwen Richards is already making plans for a second tour, scheduled for October 2005. The time slot is already starting to fill up, but there may still be available dates -- use the info in the 'Contact Us' section to approach the booking agency.