Someone once said that if there were an award for the quietest band in the world, this Norwegian trio would win hands down. Technical flamboyance has almost no role to play in Tord Gustavsen’s sound-world: restraint is one of his music’s hallmarks. Also tonight, with the music emphasizing Chopin’s fondness for repeating a melodic figure, Dutch pianist Peter Beets uses Frédéric Chopin melodies as a basis for jazz improvisation. This is an utterly enjoyable set and a must for lovers of classical-jazz fusions.
Now in its fourth year and a much anticipated feature of the international jazz calendar, the festival celebrates the piano trio both as a driving force in jazz innovation and keeper of the jazz tradition. Featuring jazz heavyweights and rising stars from around the world, it aims to represent the depth and breadth of the piano scene. Modern mavericks, mainstream stars and freewheeling trailblazers sit side by side in a series of dynamic double-bill pairings and a special set of Late Late Shows that keep things smouldering to the wee hours with sessions from some of the UK’s best piano trios.
The breadth of this year’s festival is illustrated so well by trailblazers Tin Men and the Telephone who augment their jazz improv with live electronics and technology to create a unique multimedia experience, while American star Eric Lewis (ELEW) brings hearty swing from the jazz traditions laced with a contemporary rock ethos. Heavyweight Norwegian Tord Gustavsen slows down the pace with a reflective set of lyrical beauty, while virtuoso Cuban pianist Marialy Pacheco blends lightning speed and thrilling cadenzas with hushed lullaby passages.