Quod e.s.t. demonstrandum

Wow! I am just back from the final concert of the Jazz Festival Basel with the Viktoria Tolstoy Quintet and, most notably, the Esbjörn Svensson Trio, a.k.a. e.s.t.. Tell you what: Those guys would rock, if they weren't doing jazz!

Last time I saw them live was at the Monterey Jazz Festival in California, where they were playing in front of a rather select crowd, meaning that there were many empty seats. Not so tonight: The house was packed - and rightly so. They had a phantastic performance with many new pieces and thrilling variations on their known repertoire. On top of that, they were also boasting a background light show which, although bemoaned by purists, wasn't obtrusive and thus actually enhanced the experience.

But the best thing of course is their music: They have an incredible spectrum, spanning from the melodiously lyrical to the elegantly sophisticated, classical piano trio jazz, to the rock inspired, distorted heavy stuff. Something for everybody and every mood, yet not arbitrary! But how do they do it? They seem to be playing away on the most intricate themes, each in his own world without any notes or visible interaction, and yet it comes across as an entirely compact, precisely measured performance. Magic!

Naturally, I had to get their new album Viaticum right away, and it's playing right now. Fine stuff. Thank you very much, M&S for inviting me!

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