Over the years I have seen or been involved in many solo piano concerts or recordings, but few have been so touching and spiritual as yesterdays concert by Tord Gustavsen at Madrid’s Clamores club. I know Tord since his time with Silje Nergaard and have followed his music since then, as I believe that he is one of the most unique and talented young pianists around (together with Jef Neve, Tigran and a few others). He opened the evening with a suite based on ‘Tears Transforming’, which he originally recorded with his trio on his second ECM album, The Ground. And this suite immediately showed what Tord is all about – a pianist of subtle tones and great imagination and a composer, whose main influences from the European tradition seem to be hymns and from outside of Europe gospel songs and blues. He followed that with an unnamed piece of the same qualities and a bit more tempo, then went into ‘Where we went’, which was followed by a beautiful version of an Norwegian hymn. ‘Right There’ is a new piece which he just recorded for the new ECM quartet album, which will be released in January 2014 – and it is a beautiful and deep meditation with all the qualities that make Tord such a different and amazing musician.’Silent Spaces’ and a Norwegian lullaby closed the evening before an up-tempo encore that made everyone smile with its uplifting theme.
Such great music performed by a very nice, intelligent and soft-spoken man, only disrupted by a bartender who constantly made noises while the performer gave his best. It is a lack of respect for the artist and the music if you can’t wait to prepare the bar for the next event and distract the audience form the pleasure of listening. A club with the tradition of the Clamores should know better !! Very disappointing and annoying.