Esbjörn Svensson Trio – A Great Swedish Jazz Trio

Esbjörn Svensson Trio (e.s.t. for short) was a great Swedish jazz trio which was active between 1993 and 2008. The trio consisted of the band’s frontman, Esbjörn Svensson (on piano), Dan Berglund (acoustic bass/double bass), and Magnus Öström (on drums). Their music was influenced by various genres, including, most notably, classical, rock, or pop. In addition, their music also exhibited techno elements.

Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Swedish jazz pianist, the frontman of his own trio.
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The overall musical style of Esbjörn Svensson Trio included standard jazz coupled with a series of electronic music elements and effects as well as multitrack recording. The band was signed with ACT from Germany. Early on during their career, the trio achieved notoriety after playing in rock-oriented venues. With their fame increasing in their native Sweden and in Europe, their commercial success also rose. With the studio album ‘From Gagarin’s Point of View‘ (which was released in 1999), the band enjoyed international success, being their first record to be released outside Sweden through the German label ACT.

Given a tremendously unfortunate event, the band’s frontman died while scuba diving in 2008. His bandmates though are still touring performing his music along with fellow Swedish arranger and conductor Hans Ek, adapting the band’s songs in a symphonic manner.

Throughout their career so far, the band managed to release 11 studio albums, 6 live albums, and 2 compilations. They had also collaborated with other artists, most notably legendary jazz fusion guitarist Pat Metheny.

In terms of the musical awards won, the band’s frontman, Svensson, gained the distinction ‘Swedish Jazz Musician of the Year’ in 1995 and 1996. With their 1997 studio album entitled ‘Winter in Venice’ (which mostly consisted of original songs), the band also gained the Swedish Grammy. In 1998, Svensson was awarded the title ‘Songwriter of the Year’ in Sweden. The band also won other awards during the early and mid 2000s.

I personally discovered e.s.t. while listening to classical and jazz music while I was growing up on Mezzo, where I also watched a great documentary on the band’s history. It deeply saddened me (and still does, to this very day) to know that they are no longer active under their frontman/leader.

Below is a personal selection of great songs from their discography embedded via Youtube. I truly hope you will like them. All the best and enjoy! Thank you very much for your time and readership!

Bonus (a mini-documentary on Esbjörn Svensson):

Documentation sources:

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