Magnus Öström
e.s.t. 30

VÖ: 30.05.2024

Genre: e.s.t. / Esbjörn Svensson, Swedish Jazz, Piano Jazz



ACT 9987-2, 614427998729
A declaration of love to the timeless music of e.s.t. Esbjörn Svensson Trio

Magnus Öström / drums
Dan Berglund / double bass
Magnus Lindgren / tenor saxophone, flute
Joel Lyssarides / piano
Verneri Pohjola / trumpet
Ulf Wakenius / electric guitar

Love remains...
In 1993, three musicians from Sweden, Esbjörn Svensson, Dan Berglund and Magnus Öström formed the band e.s.t..
Svensson and Öström had known each other ever since their first steps into music as children. Neither of them could have anticipated that e.s.t. would become the most influential band in European jazz of the noughties. And when the band formed they probably didn't think they were particularly ‘jazz’ either; all they wanted to do was to play the music which united their passions: rock, pop, classical, folk, improvisation. In the following 15 years, e.s.t. would play thousands of concerts worldwide, release ten studio albums and several live recordings, win awards, gold discs. We all know how the story ends.

Or did it really end? And will it ever end? To mark the 30th anniversary of e.s.t., Magnus Öström and Dan Berglund combined forces with close musical friends Joel Lyssarides, Magnus Lindgren, Verneri Pohjola and Ulf Wakenius to give two major concerts, one at the Kölner Philharmonie and other at the Filadelfia church in Stockholm. They played a selection of quintessential pieces from the timeless e.s.t. repertoire, but in a way that has never been heard before. The six musicians, each one a solo artist of international renown, treat the original melodic and rhythmic contours of these tunes with tenderness and affection.

The iconic melodies and rhythms are all there, but we also hear how they are opened up again and again, as the musicians immerse them in unexpected warmth and light. These players react to each other in fascinating ways, and there is also a definite tingle in the air as the audience listens to the music in pin-drop silence, then bursts into uninhibited applause atthe end. Magnus Öström reflects on how it feels to play this music today: “The emotions we experience have many layers, the depth of a lifetime. Firstly, it feels like coming home. There is sadness, gratitude, and happiness. And it seems unreal or even surreal and ever so natural at the same time. And you can't stop marvelling at how great this music is. Esbjörn’s compositions and the arrangements that we did together as a trio back then, feel timeless.” And he concludes: “In the end, what remains above all is the conviction that this music should be played and not lying around in a drawer.”

“e.s.t. 30” zooms in from the widest of panoramas to the intimacy of the close-up. And from the total silence and weightlessness of space in the opener "From Gagarin's Point Of View" to the heartfelt sincerity of the final track "Believe, Beleft, Below", or as it is called in the later version with vocals: "Love is Real". “If we meet again, I'd tell you how I feel, I'd tell you from the start, I'd tell you love is real.”

Love remains.

Magnus Öström
Swedish musician Magnus Öström gained worldwide fame as the drummer of the Esbjörn Svensson Trio. From 1993 onward, the trio revolutionized the jazz world. With their almost hypnotic and rock-infused grooves, Öström played a significant role in redefining the classic piano trio genre with e.s.t.. The band's career came to an end at its peak in 2008 with the untimely death of Svensson. It took Öström two years to return to music after this tragic event, and he released his first solo album, "Thread of Life," in 2010. This album, enveloped in melancholic reflection, sought its own path by incorporating elements of art rock and electronica and focusing more on sounds than melodies. Jazz thing described the album as "a jazz band that is fully immersed in rock." However, it also highlighted how crucial Öström's distinctive drumming style—precise as a metronome, yet filled with feverish groove and unusual brushwork—was for e.s.t., so much so that Öström was awarded the Echo Jazz for Best International Drummer in 2012. The rock magazine eclipsed raved, "Here is a musician who has gone beyond himself to grow into a tremendous apotheosis." Öström's "Searching For Jupiter" (2013) marked the next stage in his journey. The album continued to expand on the stylistic direction of jazz-rock and progressive rock, but it was more positive, optimistic, and hymn-like in its mood.