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On the album Opening, Tord Gustavsen reveals a fresh angle to his particularly unique trio investigations into Scandinavian folk hymns, gospel, chorale and jazz, as he introduces a different voice on bass.

With a new fellow-traveller on board and its recording premiere in Lugano's Auditorio Stelio Molo, the trio discovers inspired new ways to interact with each other, using innovative approaches to sound and technique in the process. Made up in equal parts of intricately textured improvisations and understated melodic hooks, the group's conversations bring an enticing unfamiliarity to the language the Norwegian pianist has developed over almost two decades of collaboration with ECM.

Tord Gustavsen: piano, electronics
Steinar Raknes: double bass, electronics
Jarle Vespestad: drums


"Vibrates between the introspective and the dramatic in rich and singular ways. Scene-setting opener 'The Circle' sees Gustavsen exploring a modal melodic line of beguiling simplicity, with the trio's sotto voce approach creating an atmosphere of hushed intimacy." - **** Jazzwise (Editor's Choice)

"The focus of Opening remains the playing from Gustavsen and the rich accompaniment from his fellow musicians, creating an atmosphere perfect for a walk by a cabin at dawn, with the sun peeking in through the trees." - Pitchfork

"Norwegian piano star Tord Gustavsen's long-honed recipe of low-key folk songs, gospel, classical music and jazz gets a graceful makeover on Opening - with new bassist Steinar Raknes, a player of uncannily responsive precision alongside regular percussionist Jarle Vespestad, while subtle electronics sometimes create ghostly horn-player effects." - The Guardian

"For Gustavsen, pieces such as Floytelat and Vaer Sterk, Min Sjel are routes into the sort of cerebral mysteries that the former church pianist has made his own. The first is a funereal theme where the notes he sprinkles like raindrops build into a fatalistic flood. The second, from the Norwegian Hymnal, is played with an innocent simplicity. Both are equally powerful...Remarkable music, Norwegian blues." - The Times

"Quietly beguiling release...With lesser artists the uniformity of mood and reluctance to turn up the volume would pall. But there's an artistry to Gustavsen's compositions, a skill in their execution, and a warmth to their spirit that keeps the listener engaged." - LondonJazz News


  1. Name
  2. The Circle
  3. Findings/Visa från Rättvik
  4. Opening
  5. The Longing
  6. Shepherd Song
  7. Helensburgh Tango
  8. Re-Opening
  9. Findings II
  10. Stream
  11. Ritual
  12. Fløytelåt/The Flute
  13. Vær sterk, min sjel
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