Bobo Stenson, Anders Jormin, Paul Motian

CD18,90 out of print
Featured Artists Recorded

April 2004, Avatar Studios, New York

  • 1Send In The Clowns
    (Stephen Sondheim)
  • 2Rowan
    (Anders Jormin)
  • 3Alfonsina
    (Ariel Ramírez)
  • 4There Comes A Time
    (Tony Williams)
  • 5Song About Earth
    (Thomas Meyer-Berlin, Vladimir Vysotsky)
  • 6Seli
    (Anders Jormin)
  • 7Goodbye
    (Gordon Jenkins)
  • 8Music For A While
    (Henry Purcell)
  • 9Allegretto Rubato
    (Anders Jormin)
  • 10Jack Of Clubs
    (Paul Motian)
  • 11Sudan
    (Paul Motian)
  • 12Queer Street
    (Bobo Stenson)
  • 13Triple Play
    (Anders Jormin)
  • 14Race Face
    (Ornette Coleman)
Jazzreview, The Editor’s Choice
Jazzman, Choc
Jazzmagazine, CD d’émoi
Stereoplay, Jazz-CD des Monats
Grammis-Nomination (Swedish Grammy)
As beautiful as it is unimmediate, this is an exemplar of its kind.
Fred Grand, Jazz Review
Goodbye is an expressive showcase for the talents of both men, as well as bassist Anders Jormin, and hews closely to the directions that the principals have forged over their careers, from the Bill Evans era and forward. The trio starts with an intriguing take on Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in The Clowns”, and then truly shines on original contributions, such as Motian’s exotic and minatory “Sudan”, and Jormin’s luminous arrangements of “Alfonsina” by Ariel Ramirez and “Song About Earth” by Vladimir Vyotsky, making this a truly bewitching listen.
Charles Devilbiss, Washington Examiner
Another lovely trio album from the Swedish master, with long-standing associate Anders Jormin on bass, and American guest Paul Motian on drums. … Stenson’s usual lovely touch and finely-honed harmonic invention is entirely evident on a varied selection of material, including Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns”, Gordon Jenkins’ title track, and a couple of borrowings from classical sources, in the shape of Ariel Ramirez’s “Alfonsina” and Purcell’s “Music for a While”, both given lovely arrangements by Jormin. The bassist contributes several of his oblique original compositions, and again reveals himself to be as interesting a writer as he is a player.
Kenny Mathieson, Jazzwise
Stenson is one of the great jazz pianists, underlined in this sublimely democratic trio context with Anders Jormin and Paul Motian. The hackneyed “Send in the Clowns”, for instance, emerges wistful, plaintive and fresh in his hands, while the wonderfully oblique “Goodbye” is a textbook example of this trio’s great flexibility and mutual sensitivity. Their repertoire is wide-ranging, embracing originals by all trio members… Even Henry Purcell’s “Music for a While” is transformed into breathtakingly good jazz while somehow respecting the piece’s character. And their ability to handle such varied material and remain, individually and collectively, unique is ample evidence of their own strength of character.
Ray Comiskey, Irish Times
Das Trio durchmisst die weit gespannte Programmpalette in intimer Balladenatmosphäre, vorsichtig und sensible tastend, arbeitet in transparentem Zusammenspiel kantable Melodien und verhaltene Stimmungen heraus. Motian hält auf seine unnachahmliche Weise die Balance zwischen Timekeeping, Farbgebung und Unterstützung der Melodie. Und wie Jormin den Kontrabass zum Singen bringt – nicht nur, wenn er zum Bogen greift – ist große Klangkunst.
Berthold Klostermann, Fono Forum
Zeit und Raum scheinen … aufgehoben, intimste Begegnungen entfalten eine unwiderstehliche Faszination, irisierend perlen einzelne Töne des Steinway, treffen sich mit vibrierenden Bassklängen und prasselnden Akzenten eines einzelnen Beckens. Trotz der melancholischen Grundstimmung leuchtet diese Musik still von innen heraus.
Sven Thielmann, Stereoplay
Stenson, Jormin und Motian bilden ein großartiges, subtiles Trio, in dem das Interplay eine wichtige Rolle spielt. Das Repertoire der in New York entstandenen Aufnahme zeigt deutlich, dass das Reservoir sogenannter Standards noch nicht aufgebraucht ist. Das Material, über das die drei Könner in leiser, aber stets spannender Weise improvisieren, reicht von Henry Purcells „Music for a While“ über Benny Goodmans Signet „Goodbye“ bis hin zu Musik von Ornette Coleman und Paul Motian. Selbst ein Lied des russischen Barden Vladimir Vysotzki, ein Tango von Ariel Ramirez oder die Musical-Melodie „Send In The Clowns“ werden hier zu kleinen Jazz-Meisterwerken.
Nick Liebmann, Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Bobo Stenson war bei aller Nähe zu Evans immer ein eigenwilliger Bewohner seines Schattenreichs, ein gefährlich fragiler Piano- (und Pianissimo-)Klangpoet. Seinen Ruhm zu befördern, lag ihm nicht. Allein, wer ihm auf dem Abstieg in die Unterwelt einmal gefolgt ist, wird den dunklen Glanz kaum mehr vergessen. Stensons neue CD heißt Goodbye, nach der alten Ballade von Gordon Jenkins. … Stenson nimmt der Sache das Pathos und lässt ihr das Gefühl. Das gilt auch für einen anderen, sich ähnlich statisch auftürmenden Torch-Song, Stephen Sondheims „Send In The Clowns“. … Und er skizziert zwei Stücke seines Drummers. Der heißt Paul Motian, ist, seit seinen Zeiten mit Bill Evans, der Vater allen perkussiven Pointillismus, ein Meister der Auslassungen und Garant für Unvorhersehbare. Das hört sich, ist einmal eingetreten, immer an, als könnte es anders gar nicht sein. Am Bass ist Stensons langjähriger Partner Anders Jormin, ein großer „Sänger“ des Kontrabasses und sicherer Fährmann auf den unterirdischen Gewässern.
Abermals ein Beispiel von ECM-Sound, wird der eine oder andere nun meinen und die Scheibe zu den übrigen legen. Zu seinem Schaden und unserem Vergnügen. Mit jedem wollen wir die Vorliebe für diesen Pianisten denn doch nicht teilen.
Peter Rüedi, Weltwoche

   A new album by the Bobo Stenson Trio is always an event. There can be few contemporary jazz piano trios that draw upon such wide-ranging repertoire. “Goodbye” continues its tradition of adventurous programming, with music extending from an arrangement of Henry Purcell’s ”Music For A While”, written more than 300 years ago, to Ornette Coleman’s “Race Face”, via Stephen Sondheim’s “Send In The Clowns”. “There Comes A Time” (written by Tony Williams for the Lifetime band), “Song About Earth” by Russian actor and protest singer Vladimir Vyotsky, “Alfonsina” by Argentine composer Ariel Ramírez, and the Gordon Jenkins-penned standard “Goodbye” (once Benny Goodman’s sign-off tune, and hugely popular in the Sinatra/Nelson Riddle version), round out an inspiring programme. Bobo Stenson contributes new material, as does bassist Anders Jormin; the two of them have shared ‘musical director’ roles from the beginning of the group’s history. And there are two Paul Motian tunes, “Sudan” and “Jack of Clubs”, the latter an old favourite from the early 1980s.

Paul Motian’s presence is also cause for celebration. “Goodbye” is the first recorded evidence of a musical association that has been gathering momentum over the last five years. Bobo Stenson had long admired Motian’s drumming – as would any pianist who had come of age listening to the Bill Evans Trio – and the Swedish pianist and the American drummer had met and talked on several occasions over the decades, but they had never collaborated until 2000. In the autumn of that year, English saxophonist Martin Speake brought them together for a tour of the UK and Ireland, in a quartet completed by bassist Mick Hutton. “A really wonderful tour”, Stenson says, “and Paul and I had a really good connection, becoming close friends.” After a second tour with this line-up, and an ECM recording in Oslo which awaits release, Stenson invited Motian to tour with his trio, another musically rewarding experience. Subsequently, the recording of “Goodbye” was scheduled.

Realized in New York’s Avatar Studios, it is the first of Stenson’s ECM discs with an American recording location, for the pianist another plus: “Experiencing Paul Motian in his natural environment is also a great pleasure: he’s such a New Yorker.” Indeed, Motian is a New Yorker to the extent of vowing never to leave his hometown again. After being on the road for almost 60 years he now plans, he says, to spend his remaining years (may there be many) in the jazz capital of the world.

As a trio drummer, Motian has few equals and he has inspired successive cutting-edge piano trios: after Bill Evans, Paul Bley’s group. After Bley, Keith Jarrett’s trio (and quartet). After Jarrett, Marilyn Crispell (see the ECM recordings “Nothing ever was, anyway”, “Amaryllis”, and “Storyteller”). And, of course, for more than two decades he has led his own unique trio, featuring the saxophone of Joe Lovano and the guitar of Bill Frisell. The Motian Trio’s newest album “I Have The Room Above Her” was released in January 2005, and widely praised. Motian’s association with ECM goes back to the beginning of the company’s history. He appeared on the third album released by the label, “Paul Bley With Gary Peacock”, released in 1970. ECM also was the first label to support Motian as bandleader and encourage him as a composer. Further recordings with the poetic and splendidly unpredictable drummer are imminent, including a trio disc with Enrico Rava and Stefano Bollani, as well as an album with his Electric BeBop Band.

Bobo Stenson came to ECM in 1971, recording with Jan Garbarek on “Sart” , immediately impressing listeners with a style that seemed midway between McCoy Tyner and Bill Evans. The immensely popular Jan Garbarek-Bobo Stenson Quartet of the mid-70s (“Witchi-Tai-To”, “Dansere”) was formed when the saxophonist joined Stenson’s trio. Stenson has also been an important contributor to the music of other players on ECM. Closely associated with Don Cherry, he played on the trumpeter’s final disc, “Dona Nostra”. He also was for ten years Charles Lloyd’s pianist, appearing on “Fish Out of Water”, “Notes From Big Sur”, “All My Relations”, “The Call” and “Canto”, also introducing bassist Anders Jormin to the Lloyd group. Pianist and bassist also worked extensively with Tomasz Stanko in the 1990s (“Matka Joanna” and “Leosia” with both of them, “Litania” with Stenson, and “From The Green Hill” with Jormin).

Bobo Stenson’s trio with Anders Jormin (originally with Jon Christensen on drums) was introduced in 1993, with the prize-winning album “Reflections”. It was followed by “War Orphans” in 1997 and by the 1999 double album “Serenity”, which also netted much positive press worldwide.

Beyond his commitment to the Stenson group, Anders Jormin also records as a leader for ECM, discs including “Xieyi”, where solo bass pieces interspersed with music for brass ensemble, and “In Winds, in Light”, Jormin’s song cycle in which nature poetry is set for the voice of Lena Willemark. The “In Winds, in Light” ensemble – which also features Marilyn Crispell, organist Karin Nelson and drummer Raymond Strid – remains one of Jormin’s priorities. He also has a duo with Finnish vibraphone virtuoso Severi Pyysalo.

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