The Ground

The ground from which these spare and gorgeous melodies arise derives from both a sense of the stillness of a near-empty Nordic vastness and the endlessly repeating and ever-varying prose Eddas—ancient Scandinavian folk-tales. The trio (piano, bass and drums) functions as a single organism, translating ideas into sound with admirable restraint. Gustavsen is a remarkably gifted pianist—Bill Evans is a touchstone here—and these quiet, slow, contemplative pieces use minor key shifts to form shafts of glinting light, philosophical soundtracks in which ruminations and ideas are set free to drift from the there-and-then to the here-and-now with a shimmering clarity.