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På skive


«End Of Summer»

«End Of Summer» is a perfect title for the sixth album of the Norwegian piano trio Espen Eriksen since its foundation in 2007. The album was recorded in Oslo in April 2020 during the Covid-19 lockdown, after all the trio’s concerts canceled because of the pandemic, and it radiates the melancholic spirit of the current strange times. «End Of Summer» is the first recording of this trio in five years since «Never Ending January» (Rune Grammofon, 2015), not counting the collaboration of the trio with British sax player Andy Sheppard, «Perfectly Unhappy» (Rune Grammofon, 2018), that is supposed to continue «for a very long time», according to Eriksen.

Eriksen composed seven new songs for «End Of Summer», all stress the deep rapport between Eriksen the pianist, double bass player Lars Tormod Jenset and drummer Andreas Bye. These three musicians have been playing together since the foundation of the trio, toured on four continents, and have developed an almost telepathic level of interplay. Eriksen’s song-based music for this trio was always highly melodic and lyrical, reserved, and without redundant ornamentations. But «End of Summer» radiates another quality of the trio beautiful, minimalist aesthetics. There is an obvious uplifting joy of a rare, live musical meeting in the times of the pandemic, as delivered on the opening «Where The River Runs» and the Brazilian-tinged, title song, but also a strong sense of fragility, captured on the «Back To Base» and the dramatic «Moving Demons».

«Transparent Darkness» suggests a darker, melancholic spirit. Eriksen articulates the minimalist-meditative, hymn-like theme, accompanied by sparse but precise contributions of Tormod Jenset and Bye, but he also adds a spark of optimism, repeated in its theme. This reflective-lyrical vein is further explored on «A Long Way From Home».  The last song «Reminiscence» distills the essence of this trio – a captivating melody, simple and humble one; a moving, melancholic spirit; and a remarkable interplay that never overflows, developed according to its natural logic, where each gesture and note is placed in its perfect spot.

Eyal Hareuveni

Espen Eriksen (p), Lars Tormod Jenset (b), Andreas Bye (dr)

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