Esbjorn Svenson Trio, Norwich

The second jazz offering of the festival continued the European flavour with this trio from Sweden who flew in from France especially for this one concert.

The second jazz offering of the festival continued the European flavour with this trio from Sweden who flew in from France especially for this one concert.

With pianist Esbjorn Svenson firmly in the driving seat – very well accompanied by Dan Berglund on bass and Magnus Ostrom on drums – it was an enjoyable and accessible concert which is really what this festival is all about.

The tight group, who looked as if they were preparing for a tough boxing bout or similar as they walked onstage, clearly gel together well and place an emphasis on textures with many different levels of sound to challenge your musical appreciation.

They performed mainly their own compositions, with pieces dedicated to Svenson's young son and the first man on the moon, Yuri Gagarin, although some felt they kept the best to the end when they produced their own version of Theolonius Monk's Round Midnight.

It would be fair to say that if you picked up any ECM-labelled record of a Scandinavian band 20 years ago, you would have heard pretty much the same thing.

Nevertheless, there were some lovely piano solos in the one set – which lasted almost two hours – and the audience were very receptive.

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t The Esbjorn Svenson Trio were performing at Norwich Playhouse.

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