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5.0 out of 5 stars Nordic cool. . .
Lyric, melodic, hypnotic, definitely cool jazz. The cuts on this 66-minute CD are like chilled vodka over ice, way, way after midnight.
The opening tracks, "Deep as Love" and "Graceful Touch," are aptly titled, both leisurely and tense, seeming to willfully resist movement forward, keeping the lid on, as fingers lightly touch keys and strings and...
Published on July 9 2004 by Ronald Scheer

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Jazz for the Lobotomized Set
Well, I suppose this CD is cheaper than anesthesia, though perhaps harder to wake up from.
Published on Jan. 17 2004


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5.0 out of 5 stars Nordic cool. . ., July 9 2004
By 
Ronald Scheer "rockysquirrel" (Los Angeles) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Changing Places (Audio CD)
Lyric, melodic, hypnotic, definitely cool jazz. The cuts on this 66-minute CD are like chilled vodka over ice, way, way after midnight.
The opening tracks, "Deep as Love" and "Graceful Touch," are aptly titled, both leisurely and tense, seeming to willfully resist movement forward, keeping the lid on, as fingers lightly touch keys and strings and then break out in brief releases of strength, which are quickly contained again. You listen, rapt.
Nervous energy surfaces more urgently in the following "IGN," and then we are back in the lingeringly cool groove with "Melted Matter," breaking out at moments in the following "At a Glance," which ends again quietly.
And so it goes. This is a wonderful CD for lights-low, after hours listening. The booklet that comes with it has portrait shots of the trio: Tord Gustavsen (piano), Harald Johnsen (double-bass), and Jarle Vespestad (drums). Recorded in Oslo.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent recording, subtle and technically splendid!, May 28 2004
By 
M. Rodriguez "mrodriguez84" (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Changing Places (Audio CD)
When I first heard "Changing places" I thought it was very precise and technically flawless, yet it felt "cold", devoid of warmth. How wrong I was when I heard it again and again. Not only is it warm and appealing to many listeners across many genres, it is a masterpiece, impossible to overlook.
This recording will grow with you. I envisage that I will be enjoying this recording by this Norwegian Trio as much now as I will for many years to come.
Listen to the Tango-like tunes - very subtle and interesting. Obviously Tord Gustavsen is supported well with the equally talented Harald Johnsen on double-bass and Jarle Vespestad on drums.
Not just background music, although it is excellent for party dinners or simply in front of the fire with a nice red!
I recommend it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars WILDCHILD, May 19 2004
This review is from: Changing Places (Audio CD)
Norway has produced Jan Garbarek & Tord Gustavsen, I think I will have to move there.This cd "Changing Places" (what a great title) has music that touches the center of your being. I have just heard Tord for the first time, & I had to repeat playing the cd. This musician has a musical depth, his harmony & melodic structures give this cd an enchanting freshness that seems to come from the Nordic folklore & music that I beieve inspires his & Jan Garbarek's music. I was at a Jan Garbarek concert in Sydney 2 months ago, the question could have been asked "is it jazz?". But Tord like Jan are improvisors of the highest order, it certainly is not jazz of the 30's,& 40's. For art to live there must be change. At some time in their career, Bird,Miles,Coltrane & Bill Evans were accused of not playing jazz, but they were, it was dressed in new clothes. I am very impressed with this cd & will be looking forward to Tord's next release. I wish him every success.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Don't pass it up!!!, March 24 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Changing Places (Audio CD)
If you want an album with superb acoustics( for the true audiophile ) and wonderful relaxing sound---this is it. Mellow, easy,smooth,rich,clear---outstanding jazz in every cut.Bass, piano and drums put together in the perfect soundstage with flawless clarity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Space Between the Notes..., March 20 2004
By 
Jeff Tang (Brooklyn, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Changing Places (Audio CD)
This beautifully sparse recording is a study in economy and taste. Mr. Gustaven's trio isn't about flash and dash, eschewing overwrought style for restrained substance and a commitment to unspooling some serious melodic yarn. There isn't a wasted note in this collection of blues-inflected ballads and silky boleros. This is some late night music, so take your time and give this record a chance to change your perspective.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, Feb. 29 2004
By 
This review is from: Changing Places (Audio CD)
Is jazz art? Listen to this music and you will not care. This is a subtle, understated masterpiece. If jazz is art, this is art. If jazz is not art, this is not jazz. This music is so filled with moments of astonishing beauty it is hard to review it. Just listen to "Where breathing begins"; on the surface the structure of the tune itself is very simple, the impression of simplicity is enhanced by the slow tempo, the gentle touch of the pianist, the carefully chosen notes, not one too many. Note how subtle changes in the tempo by the pianist creates tension, how the wonderfully gentle support of the bass and drums creates a 3-D impression. Improvisation moves longer and longer away from the tune without losing it for a moment, the intensity of the music increases in an interplay between the piano and base (don't miss the masterful work of the drummer!) with the tension no longer created by suble changes in tempo but in increasing complexity, force and loudness until a climax is reached and suddenly the tune is back- simple, silent and understated and it is all over - all too soon! - This is a wonder!
Every piece of music on this CD is full of small miracles. This is no music that can be fully appreciated in the car or while working, it demands full attention. Otherwise as superficially cold, slow and simple it may be mistaken for some boring down-tempo variations on classic music or even musak. So deep feelings and so much intelligens is built into this music that you have to go beyond the surface and really listen to the faintest whisper and weakest heartbeat to find the soul of it - and you will be fully rewarded. This is one of maybe 5-6 CDs worthy of a five-star rating this year!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, Feb. 14 2004
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This review is from: Changing Places (Audio CD)
When I heard a few notes of this album on NPR's "All Things Considered," I was immediately hooked. That was six months ago, and I still listen to the CD several times a week. I saw the Tord Gustavsen Trio at Joe's Pub in NYC. The audience was asked to be as quiet as possible because the music itself is so quiet. To hear these three guys play on the CD is mesmerizing, but to see it and hear it live is beyond that. The playing is brilliant, intuitive, and pure genius. Jarle Vespestad pulled out a cloth napkin to play the snare and played the cymbals with his finger tips, and Tord hummed along, and I couldn't have been happier. The comparisons have been made to Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, which is inevitable I suppose, but they are hardly apt. I'll take Tord over Keith Jarrett any day, and as important as Bill Evans is, Tord has already achieved a sound Bill Evans would envy. Buy a copy of this CD for yourself and for all your friends.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent CD., Feb. 8 2004
By 
Denver Dem (Denver, Colorado United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Changing Places (Audio CD)
Reminds me somewhat of Keith Jarrett's My Song, even some of Bill Evans' work. Very subdued and melodic style, but the beauty and complexity grows with each listen.
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4.0 out of 5 stars ...and constructing tempos., Jan. 31 2004
This review is from: Changing Places (Audio CD)
I have waiting for this record long time ago. I like very much trio pianos, but this has a instantly connection with my feelings. Tord has walked a long way to reach this point: leave the triumphs, the losts, even false steps. He has the time as a allied. The unique that has the permission to construct the intemporality of his music. He construct cities, gardens and temples to live, to live an quiet life. At last, the ultimate human desire.
The music flows into a emotion vehicle, by the ways where the silence could be the last response. Music worlds to hear, to enjoy, to help us to understand the history of piano jazz as a everything. Long life to Tord. (Please, excuse my poor english)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beckons for high fidelity, solitude, and a fireplace, Jan. 28 2004
This review is from: Changing Places (Audio CD)
I will admit I was swayed by the sterling reviews this CD has garnered here and elsewhere in deciding whether to purchase it. I've listened to "Changing Places" many times, and the title sums up the experience I've had. Invariably, pianist Tord Gustavsen and his fellow trio members, Harald Johnsen playing double-bass and Jarle Vespestad, will carry you from the here and now to a calmer, deeper state of mind.
Better reviewers than I have noted the lineage of this music, from Bill Evan and Keith Jarrett forward. Others have slammed this session for its seemingly somnolent tone (a view which I take issue with).
Quite a bit happens throughout these songs as the trio, following Mr. Gustavsen's elegant direction, weave interesting structures, themes, and counterpoints. This music beckons for high fidelity, solitude, and a fireplace, but it also sounds splendid through headphones while working on the Macintosh.
There is, however, not a great deal of variation in tempo and style throughout these selections, though repeated listenings reveal subtleties and nuances that may go unnoticed if one is not focusing on the music.
My opinion is that this is a very good, very typical ECM recording, characterized by crisp sound and carefully measured, slow tempo jazz.
If you are interested in exploring other piano trios that offer a strikingly different listening experience, I would recommend that you check out the Esbjörn Svensson Trio (E.S.T.).
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Changing Places by Tord Gustavsen (Audio CD - 2003)
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