Music News

e.s.t.

In portions of the globe with a surer grasp of umlauts than is regularly exhibited here, this Swedish export is also known as the Esbjörn Svensson Trio. Pianist Svensson, joined by drummer Magnus Öström and bassist Dan Berglund (whose name is blessedly free of extraneous diacritical marks) specialize in acoustic jazz, but accessibility isn't anathema to them: The act's bio declares it to be "a pop band that plays jazz." This phrase sounds like something Kenny G might utter, so it comes as a relief to discover that the combo's latest disc, 2005's Viaticum (put out by CRP Recordings), isn't old-style Muzak with a few musicianly filigrees added. Rather, tracks such as "Tide of Trepidation" are keyboard-driven soundscapes whose overtly cool movements actually reward close listens. Despite the fact that several of their earlier releases were issued stateside by Sony and RCA, the men of e.s.t. remain better known in Europe than they are in the U.S. Hence their current tour, which teams them with Ron Miles, Johannes Weidenmueller and Erik Deutsch for a Boulder date that's sure to intrigue no matter how you spell it.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts