A relatively short period of time, namely since 2007 the Norwegian Espen Eriksen Trio with Espen Eriksen on piano, Lars Tormod Jensen on double bass and Andreas Bye on drums has been performing in public. In this short period of time, the Norwegians have managed to achieve a top position among the Scandinavian jazz trio formations on the basis of live performances and studio albums. While the trio's first three albums were released on the Norwegian record label Rune Grammofon, the trio, which is renowned for cultivating the "lost art of melodic minimalism", has now taken itself under the wings of the record label Rune Grammofon with its new album End of Summer. In fact, the new album with its seven brand-new songs by the pianist also heralds the trio's melodic minimalism. The songs are based on real melodies, whose lyrical flow heralds Nordic melancholy, whose origin is also due to the limited sunlight typical for the northern Scandinavian countries.
The reason for melancholy in the case of this album is also to be found in the social restrictions of our Covid-19 times, which became apparent in a first run at the production time of End of Summer in April this year. Espen Eriksen recalls that the possibility of being able to meet and make music together in a recording studio, despite the adverse circumstances, was felt to be no less than an elixir of life for everyone involved. End of Summer also tells of this small, temporary happiness. In the blues-blessed title track, however, a melancholy mood prevails, giving the pianist the opportunity to commemorate the victims of the pandemic.
The at least temporary exit from this melancholic mood is achieved by the piece "A Long Way From Home", in which the trio, led by the Snares, takes up optimistic momentum, which is then led back into Nordic depth by the nostalgically playing "Reminiscence".
End of Summer by the Espen Eriksen Trio proves to be a wonderfully melancholic jazz album, whose pieces, characterized by melodic minimalism, are deeply moving. The excellent recording by Mike Hartung and mastering by Morgan Nicolaysen (Propeller Mastering) allows to enjoy End of Summer unclouded.
Espen Eriksen Trio