Feb 5, 2018
One of the oft-overlooked stars of the ECM roster is pianist Bobo Stenson. The Swedish composer-performer has been the anchor of a series of outstanding piano trios over the past forty years, and his latest band has produced one of his finest recordings yet, Contra la Indecision mixes originals with 20th century classical music re-imaginings, all with that distinctive ECM sound. Stenson has been working with Anders Jormin (Double Bass) and Jon Fält (Drums) for more than a decade, and they continue to create music that uses their instruments not in the proto-typical hard swinging style, nor in the sometimes bombastic approach of groups like the Bad Plus. Instead, this is well thought-out introspective jazz, moving with a pulse rather than a crash.
Bobo has played with most of the heavies of the ECM canon over the years, including Jan Garbarek, Don Cherry, Paul Motian, and Tomasz Stanko. He was a key member of the group that rejuvenated Charles Lloyd, making five great albums from 1989 to 1996, Bassist Jormin played on four of those releases, most notably the stirring Canto.
I spoke with Bobo on the day Cancion Contra la Indecision was formally released, and we talked about how the trio records and how he integrates pieces by Bartok and Satie into the album, He spoke warmly of his time with Charles Lloyd.
Podcast 607 is my conversation with Bobo Stenson, featuring musical selections from Contra la Indecision, including “Doubt Thou the Stars” and “Wedding Song from Poniky ”, along with Anders Jormin’s “Little Peace” from the Charles Lloyd Quartet’s All My Relations CD.