Tord Gustavsen

Tord Gustavsen is one of the most important figures in Scandinavian jazz. His work leads the listener to the vast landscapes of his native Norway.


He debuted in 2003 with Changing Places, the first of three trio albums released on the legendary ECM Records label. The trilogy – which also includes The Ground (2005) and Being There (2007) – serves as the perfect introduction to the sound of Tord Gustavsen: innovative and futuristic in terms of musical freedom and inventiveness, while retaining a connection to the serenity of Scandinavian landscapes. For the three albums, the group is awarded the prestigious Nattjazz prize.


In 2009, Tord Gustavsen assumed a new formation, the quartet – with Tore Brunborg on saxophones, Mats Eilertsen on bass and Jarle Vespestad on drums – and released a new album, Restored, Returned (2009). The album was a great success and was awarded the prestigious Spellemannsprisen, the Norwegian Grammy Award. Still in this formation, Tord released the acclaimed The Well (2012) – recently included in ECM’s list of 50 unmissable classics – Extended Circle (2014), returning to the trio formation with The Other Side (2018) a work full of “hypnotic anthems” and “moments of absolute beauty, taste and originality”, which was presented in Portugal in 2021, in a three-date tour – Castelo Branco, Caldas da Rainha and Ponta Delgada – that mesmerized Portuguese audiences and garnered the best reviews from the specialized press.


Over a career spanning almost 20 years, Tord has received numerous distinctions. Besides the Norwegian Grammy (Spellemannsprisen) and Nattjazz, Tord has also been awarded the prestigious CHOC criOcal (France), the Bell Award for the best international Jazz Album, Stereophile Magazine’s Recording of the Month (USA), and the NOPAs Musikkpris for the Best Jazz Composition.


Opening (2022), Tord’s new trio album, combines the characteristic subtlety of Nordic jazz with deeply poetic and meditative harmonic atmospheres. The album was recently featured in Pitchfork and chosen as ‘Editor’s Choice’ in the prestigious Jazzwise magazine.


‘Opening’ creates an atmosphere perfect for a walk by a cabin at dawn, with the sun peeking in through the trees.’ PITCHFORK – 7.4/10 (Jun 2022)


‘Tord Gustavsen seems to have an open road to the place where the secret of the connection between sounds and states of soul is kept’ PÚBLICO (Nov 2021)


‘Gustavsen is an immense pianist’ RIMAS E BATIDAS (Nov 2021)


‘A trilogy [that] could be the most essential jazz document of recent years. Sublime.’ THE INDEPENDENT


‘A recording of incredible beauty. IT draws the listener in so completely – making us appreciate every note, every little gesture, in its ethereal, shimmering whole. Nothing short of magical.’ DOWNBEAT (4.5****)


Paulo Sousa Martins


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