Bobo Stenson Trio

DAVID WAKEFIELD Norwich Playhouse (Norfolk and Norwich Festival)


Norwich Playhouse (Norfolk and Norwich Festival)

The piano trio is one of the cornerstones of jazz, something defined, perhaps for all time, by the great Bill Evans Trio, with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian. It is no coincidence that, until a year or so ago, Motian was in the drum chair for this Swedish ensemble, which embodies Evans' values and takes them a step further.

Integration and familiarisation are the twin names of the game; and Stenson's trio (Anders Jormin on bass, Jon Falt on drums) demonstrated them amply in a programme that can best be described as "varied".

In as much as it included works by Alban Berg and Henry Purcell, it showed much of the musical freedom for which Stenson is famed; all technically perfect and with top-notch sound by the Playhouse crew. Yet, until the trio launched into Tony Williams' There Comes A Time, the performance didn't excite overmuch. But this number, quite correctly a showcase for Falt's excitable drumming, showed what Stenson and his men were capable of. I would like to have heard more.

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