Tonbruket ‘Live Salvation’ (ACT) 3/5

Former EST bassist, Dan Berglund, returns with his band for a heady mixture of folk-tinged jazz and rock, and this live recording captures the band at the Bix Jazz Club in Stuttgart, and is a useful résumé of their career to date. The mastermind of the band is Berglund and this recording makes for an interesting postscript to the tenth anniversary of the tragic passing of Esbjörn Svensson and a separate 2 CD of this formation will shortly be available in these columns. An all original set of titles is evenly divided up between the quartet members, with tracks from the excellent ‘Dig It To The End’, receiving the Lion’s share of the pieces reworked in a live setting. Of interest are the exciting readings of both ‘Gripe’ and ‘Balloons’, but the concise interpretation of ‘Dig It To The End’ works extremely well. Of the other numbers, the near fourteen minute, ‘Vinegar Heart’, does go on a tad too long, and this is not a band that is set up to improvise at length, competent though the musicians individually undoubtedly are. As an aside from the music itself, the creative cover art from Jesper Waldersten is noteworthy, and not without recalling the much earlier efforts on the Verve and Columbia labels of one David Stone Martin. Music and visual art can co-exist in harmony, and this demonstrates how.

Tim Stenhouse