Strange Place for Snow

If Radiohead morphed into a jazz trio, it would sound very much like Sweden's E.S.T. (short for Esbjorn Svensson Trio). E.S.T.

If Radiohead morphed into a jazz trio, it would sound very much like Sweden's E.S.T. (short for Esbjorn Svensson Trio). E.S.T. plays traditional, largely acoustic jazz that is wholly contemporary, liberally peppering its post-bop sound (pianist Svensson is joined by double bassist Dan Berglund and drummer Magnus Ostrom) with influences including drum'n'bass, classical, and modern and classic rock. While its Columbia debut, Somewhere Else Before, had frenetic moments that at times referenced classic rock as much as they did classic jazz, E.S.T.'s sophomore effort focuses more on trippier influences, with liquid rhythms and hypnotic melodies that lean heavily on classically derived themes. While the music has an almost startlingly futuristic chill that could deter traditionalists, the emphasis on improvisation keeps E.S.T.'s human touch intact. Strange, indeed, and quite engaging.—SG