Reflections & Odysseys


THERE’S something entirely natural, if not even inevitable, about Scandinavian trio Rymden forming. Comprising the bassist, Dan Berglund, and the drummer, Magnus Ostrom, from world-conquering Swedish jazz trio EST and that group’s fellow Nordic pioneer, pianist Bugge Wesseltoft, Rymden not only reunites Berglund and Ostrom, who have been leading their own projects since EST’s guiding spirit, Esbjorn Svensson’s untimely death in 2008, it brings them back to the piano trio format.

Wesseltoft’s New Conception of Jazz was a success in parallel with EST and although he has his own character as a musician, there are elements here that continue EST’s work as well as others that showcase his energetic approach to both acoustic piano and the electric Rhodes model.

Berglund and Ostrom blossomed as composers following EST’s demise. This adds to Rymden’s possibilities, with the former’s Pitter-Patter laying down a bouncy groove and the latter’s Bergen developing bright bells-like arpeggios with typically precise, determined drumming. Wesseltoft’s Rak introduces dark menace before dancing off on a Rhodes riff powered by Ostrom’s splashy exuberance and the final Homegrown, very much in the hymn with no words style, is beautifully understated, encouraging thoughts of more still to come.

Rob Adams