"Just a little play will be skillfully. Tord Gustavsen is a master of the recess, a Satie of chamber jazz, and this musical abstention bordering places to asceticism. "(Ralf Dombrowski, Süddeutsche Zeitung)
While Tord Gustavsen came on 5 October 1970 in Oslo to the world, but grew up in the 80 km further north rural village Hurdal. Already four years he learned in the local seclusion to play the piano and began composing and improvising before he learned to read music and turned to classical music literature. Early on, he diversifizerte stylistically to possible to collect a lot of experience and played as a teenager classical and church music as well as gospel, jazz fusion and his own works.
At 19, he moved to Oslo to study at the university sociology, psychology and religion. At the same time his interest in jazz was sparked more, he lived out first in bands such as knitted and balm. He also learned the singer Kristin Asbjørnsen know that encouraged him to finally concentrate on the music. And so Gustavsen wrote 1993 at the renowned Trondheim Conservatory, where he studied in the next three years jazz piano, jazz history, improvisation, composition and music analysis. Then he went back to the University of Oslo to make in another two and a half years have a degree in musicology. His studies focused on: the psychology and phenomenology of improvisation.
But he stuffed all these years not only fully with gray music theory. In countless sessions with musicians like bassist Geir Digernes, saxophonist Eirik Hegdal, drummer Magnus Forsberg and again Kristin Asbjørnsen he put the acquired knowledge into the living practice.
After long years of study, who had given him the musical arsenal, he began in the late 1990s his time as a freelancer. Ins international spotlight fell Tord Gustavsen from 2000 as a pianist of the celebrated singer Silje Nergaard, he - with his trio partners Harald Johnson (bass) and Jarle Vespestad (drums) as the nucleus of their band - in the following years on the three albums "Port of Call "(2000)," At First Light "(2001) and" Night Watch "(2003) accompanied. However, in parallel, he also played with the Nymark Collective trumpeter Kåre Nymark and also worked with the singers Siri GjÆre and - once again! - Kristin Asbjørnsen in Duo.
Own wings grew the career of pianist but only when Manfred Eicher took him by ECM Records and there 2003 "Changing Places", brought out the first album of a trilogy of Tord Gustavsen Trio. "Tord Gustavsen loves the melodies," Thomas Steinfeld presented then determined at a meeting of the album in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. "To them he turns to when he would not play on his piano, but singing ... this music is efficient and unspectacular to the utmost, it rejects the painting, and dedicated to the line drawing, it is extremely chamber music .. . No melody is so conventional, therefore, that they do not eventually still slide into Weird, yes ghosts Representative would. The voltage related compositions by Tord Gustavsen from the art of the minimum deviation, with which they are to be gentle, strangely unreal creatures, exhilarating and scary at the same time. "
In "The Ground" (2005) and "Being There" (2007) that this trio explored the clearly demarcated melodic terrain further, which is on every album different musical approaches chose. Success recorded Gustavsen thus no longer only in Europe but also in the US, where he even ended up with "The Ground" at No. 7 on the Billboard jazz charts. In Australia, "The Ground" in 2006 was awarded a Bell Award for Best International Jazz Album of the Year.
With singer Solveig Slettahjell and trumpeter Sjur Miljeteig Gustavsen 2008 "Natt i Betlehem" took (November 2008), which contains a mixture of Norwegian and English carols and sold in Norway 20,000 times. In the same year also appeared the acclaimed album "Bessie Smith Revisited - Live In Concert" of Nymark Collective with Special Guest Kristin Asbjørnsen.
On his fourth ECM album "Restored, Returned" the pianist struck in 2010 with a band umbesetzten a new musical chapter. To Gustavsen and his longtime drummer Jarle Vespestad joined with saxophonist Tore Brunborg and bassist Mats Eilertsen (like Tord member of Nymark Collective is) two other musicians from the ECM environment and as a guest singer Kristin Asbjørnsen.
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