The Other Side
Pianist Tord Gustavsen has released eight albums on ECM Records with his ensemble and trio; “Changing Places” (2003), “The Ground” (2005), “Being There” (2007), “Restored, Returned” (2009/2010), “The Well” (2012); “Extended Circle” (2014); “What was said” (2016); and “The Other Side” (2018). His music has been met by a huge volume of critical approval around the world. He has won the Norwegian Grammy Award (Spellemannsprisen) and numerous other awards and prizes.
After playing primarily in trio format for several years, Tord launched his new project, Tord Gustavsen Ensemble, in 2008 with a commissioned work for the Vossajazz Festival in Norway, followed by a new recording in 2009. In 2011-2015, the quartet was Tord’s major touring ensemble formation, alongside duo and trio formats with the musicians in the ensemble. He did extended projects with Kristin Asbjørnsen and Susanna Wallumrød joining the ensemble on vocals, with Cecilie Jørstad doing spoken word, and with Nils Økland on fiddle/violin. In 2016, the ensemble was supplmented with a new, alternative trio featuring Afghan-German singer Simin Tander and Jarle Vespestad on drums, for album release and extensive touring.
Before starting his solo career, Tord had already been an important part of the Norwegian jazz scene for several years. His playing has formed a cornerstone in projects featuring some of the finest Norwegian singers, including Solveig Slettahjell, Silje Nergaard, Siri Gjære, and Kristin Asbjørnsen. The urge for individual expression fuses with acutely attentive listening in creative interplay, making Tord a very special experience both as a soloist and as an ensemble player. While relating to fields like Scandinavian folk music, gospel, Caribbean music and cool jazz alike, Tord’s ensembles present a unique universe of lyricism and subtle funkiness. His way of melding jazz history with ‘Nordic’ reflective moods and lyrical beauty brings about an intriguing voice on today’s music scene.