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«Embrace the Space»

Space is the Swedish, Stockholm-based trio with pianist Lisa Ullén, and generation younger, double bass player Elsa Bergman and drummer Anna Lund. These musicians first played together in the sorely missend Anna Högberg Attack and all lead their own projects. Embrace the Space is the sophomore album of Space, following the self-titled debut album (Relative Pitch, 2022), and it was totally improvised and recorded at Atlantis Studio in Stockholm in January 2023.

The eight pieces are described as «imprositions» or «comprovisations», stressing the immediate and profound dynamics of the trio and its ability to transform spur-of-the-moment ideas and spontaneous improvisations into instant compositions. These pieces are performed with great intimacy (as the cover photo of Tina Axelsson suggests) while investigating the sonic palettes of the piano, double bass and drums, with dramatic sense and exquisite attention to detail, subversive yet powerful rhythmic patterns and seamless, captivating elegance.

This unconventional, democratic piano trio of Ullén, Bergman and Lund often sounds bigger than the culmination of its strong individual voices, due to its raging energy, much more intense and powerful than on its debut album. The trio is gifted with deep listening, leaves enough space for each other’s interpretations of the musical ideas, and knows how to let the fleeting, open ideas blossom organically, take bold risks with them, and exhaust them within the concise and focused improvisations, but without attaching themselves to any of them.

The dynamics of this collective trio draw inspiration from free jazz and European contemporary music but there is nothing familiar or obvious in its interplay. This trio raises more curious questions than providing comforting answers, as free improvisation is not only a method of spontaneous creativity but a unique state of mind. The trio is totally invested in the art of the moment and follows its primal, raw instincts with restless energy, imagination and poetic sensibility. This great trio just getting better and better.

Eyal Hareuveni

Lisa Ullén (piano), Elsa Bergman (double bass), Anna Lund (drums)