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I’ll be honest, when I first listened to this recording I wasn’t blown away by it. Repeated listening bore fruit; the openness of the music fascinates, considered minimalist structures and the space in between. The Well is the fifth ECM album by Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen, who this time appears on disc with musical comrades Tore Brunborg (tenor sax), Mats Eilertsen (double bass) and Jarle Vespestad (drums). The exquisite Prelude sets the tone; Gustavsen weaves a gentle melodic line against a tapestry of undulating notes – here, some parallels might be drawn with so-called ‘minimal’ classical repertoire, particularly that of Philip Glass. This structure is explored throughout the recording; the music gradually becomes denser as it moves to the title track, The Well, a beautifully dark entanglement of keys and reeds, gentle twists and turns.

CLAIRE JACKSON Read the full review on Agora Classica

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