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E.S.T.

Pianist and composer Esbjörn Svensson looms among the most influential and innovative figures in contemporary jazz, drawing on inspirations spanning from Baroque to techno to create a body of work that earned both commercial and critical approval. Svensson was born in Västeras, Sweden, on April 16, 1964 -- his mother was a classical pianist and his father a die-hard jazz buff, but in spite of his classical training he first gravitated toward pop, playing in a series of amateur rock & roll bands alongside high-school classmate and drummer Magnus Öström. After studying music at Stockholm's Kungliga Musikhögskolan, Svensson worked as a session player, and in 1985 formed a bop-inspired duo with drummer Fredrik Norén. In 1993, he reconnected with Öström, and together with bassist Dan Berglund they formed the Esbjörn Svensson Trio, which would become universally known by the acronym E.S.T. Although the group's debut LP, When Everyone Has Gone, earned scant attention, the trio quickly emerged as a fixture of the Swedish festival circuit in addition to backing singers including Viktoria Tolstoy and Louise Hoffsten -- while Svensson's piano balanced the structural complexity of his classical background with the improvisational daring of postwar influences like Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, Öström's powerhouse drumming channeled more mainstream influences like rock and funk, and in time E.S.T. earned a fan following that extended far beyond the confines of the conventional jazz cognoscenti.

With 1996's Esbjörn Svensson Trio Plays Monk, critics roundly applauded Svensson's fearless interpretive sensibilities. A year later, the intimate Winter in Venice earned the trio the Swedish Grammy for Best Jazz Album, and for 1999's From Gagarin's Point of View the band signed an international licensing deal with German label ACT, for the first time winning significant notice outside of Scandinavia. By the 2002 release of Strange Place for Snow, E.S.T. were firmly established as Europe's most popular jazz group, regularly headlining large concert halls across the Continent. They also played dozens of pop music festivals, incorporating film projections, lighting, and set design into their stage act to further shatter genre preconceptions. In conjunction with the 2003 LP Seven Days of Falling, E.S.T. won the International Artist Award at the BBC Jazz Awards, and following the 2006 release of Tuesday Wonderland, the trio was the first European act ever to adorn the cover of the venerable American jazz magazine Down Beat. In early 2008, E.S.T. reconvened in the studio to record Leucocyte, a project integrating electronic and processed sounds within the jazz trio format. With the album completed, Svensson went scuba diving off the coast of the Swedish island community Ingarö -- on June 14, 2008, his companions found him lying unconscious on the seabed, and although his body was rushed by helicopter to Karolinska University Hospital, attempts at resuscitation proved unsuccessful. Svensson was just 44 years old. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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atmospheric. . . t h e best always leave early.
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his work lives on to gift us all with beauty...lov e l y legacy
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guardteresit a 2 1 - 4 s a l e
@ greyfox - Sadly after posting I did learn of the tragic loss. Truly a sad and unfortunate loss! But still, I am very glad to have discovered the body of work and recognize the talent.
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Guardterisit e . . . d i d you read the bio?
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So great!
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Fantastic!!
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I echo several of the other posters - Pandora just introduced me to this group - where have they been in the 4+ years I have been using Pandora on virtually a daily basis?
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froelkes.stu d i o
I first heard E.S.T. on a Jazz Radio Station in MPLS., MN. Fell in love with their music. Was so bummed out when I researched them and found out about E.S.'s tragic death. I sure wish I could of seen them live here in MN. Their music truely takes you to another place! Joe Froelke
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Am thrilled to have discovered this incredible group through Pandora. Immediately went out and bought most of their albums. If you like this band, do yourself a favor and also check out The Bad Plus.
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Thanks to Pandora, I found out about EST late last year. When I heard STrange Place for Snow, I knew immediately I was listening to something unique, special, and talented...e v e n though it was completely unknown to me. I investigated the group thanks to Amazon, MP3's and kindle fires and loved what I heard. When I read ES had passed away in a tragic accident it was like someone hit me over the head. Shades of John and Jerry, what pain. I still am getting the EST records, as I can afford them. I
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Never heard of them, but this groups music does honor to JAZZ.
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spriklerdude 3 0 5
Shame he passed away so young...the world's loss. Sprinklerdud e 3 0 5
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surprising that Lyle Mays isn't listed as a similar artist...
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atxkeys
Anything EST did is pure beauty.
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Really amazing artists. I love blasting Tuesday Wonderland..
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I got their debut CD and obviously they have created a larger volumne of music. Good stuff , need to listen to more of it. Original and an interesting blend of techno,jazz and rock.
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SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL!!! ! ! !
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Am I wrong? This is the most beautiful music in the world!! One can only conclude that the powers above stole him from us as he was proving that man could indeed create infinite beauty! Esbjorn & Trio makes me feel that aching depth inside my heart - and he makes me cry like no other musician.
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sisterj0
Excellent way to spend a Sunday...
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perfect balance of thinking and feeling - rare nowadays...
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I DIG IT !!!!!!!!
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clcsilver50
am so sorry I am late in discovering this trio...such brilliant sounds!Thank s , Pandora for leading the way.
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Emotion and technical proficiency ... what more can you ask for from musicians?
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they came up on the Tord Gustavsen station, good tunes, soulful, meditative, & eccentric.
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igarber
BRILLIANT!
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I love when a song so closely matches what I am feeling inside but can't express in words.
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love what im hearing. sweet stuff. now its growing wild with monster drums. R. I. P.
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best, somthng different
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Pure ECM jazz at it's best.
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quicksilver3 2 1
Somewhat Instrospecti v e . . .
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This resonants to the soul. Love It. Never heard him before. Honored to hear it.
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warthogger9
RIP Esbjörn Svensson. great trio, really inspiring stuff.
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I first heard them while browsing at a Border's Book Store and their CD "Somewhere Else Before" was highlighted. The first song I listened to was "Dodge the Dodo" and I was hooked. They single-hande d l y made a piano jazz fan out of me and it is now my favorite genre with them as my favorite group. Though I have listened to other groups (Bad Math, etc.), they are the only one that I have found of which I enjoy all of their tunes equally as well. Check them out on YouTube.
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zdefne
"No one knows what the future would have held for us, but the one thing we know for sure is, that the memory and the music of Esbjörn Svensson will outlive us all."
Magnus Öström & Dan Berglund,
Åke Linton (sound), Anders Amrén (light), Burkhard Hopper (manager), Siegfried Loch (ACT Music)

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laid back and introspectiv e . . . t h e y came up on my Brad Mehldau station...ve r y cool...
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These guys came up on my Bad Plus station. Both are awesome.
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good stuff, try the Bad Plus, similar genre and some great players
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These guys are incredible. Created an Avashai Cohen station and this trio is a favorite!
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This group is amazing. This is NOT smooth jazz but modern jazz. Very similar to Brad Mehldau Trio in many ways and just as good. I love it
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Good compliment to my Jacques Loussier station.
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Outstanding. Created a Joe sample station for piano jazz. Now this is my favorite.
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dig it!!!
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jasoningalls 6
F**king Awesome!
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Real solid. Reminiscent of the old ECM days.
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ptynan
Great Interaction! !
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Great
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Also try Tomas Stenko good mellow jazz
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danny526
Fresh.
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Far from Smooth Jazz. Combo of classical trained well trained European Music Studs. Saw them Live. Whoooah
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Played on my Stan Kenton Radio Station: Doesn't sound like anything related to Kenton! Maybe modern smooth jazz?
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