Be relaxed, totally relaxed, is the motto on Bobo Stenson's latest trio album. The Swedish pianist Bobo Stenson can be relaxed indeed, and that's because he is in the portfolio of ECM for no less than 47 years, a time long past when this noble label relied exclusively on jazz and not on classical music. However, ECM can also be relaxed being able to present besides Jan Garbarek also belonging for a very long time to the ECM family and being recorded also with Bobo Stenson a musician longtime loyal to the label and still contributing to the label with an independent, brilliant jazz at the tender age of 74 years.
For the last time, the Bobo Stenson Trio was cast in 2012 with double bass player Anders Jormin and drummer Jon Fält for the album Indicum for ECM. Stenson has been involved with Jormin for three decades, while under forty-four-year-old Jon Fält is the youngster in the trio having met Stenson for the first time in connection with the Indicum project. Anders Jormin is responsible for five of the original tracks on the new album Contra La Indecisión. The remaining titles are based on Bela Bartok's folk-dance composition "Wedding Song from Poniky", Federico Mompou's "Cancion y Danza VI", Erik Satie's "Elegy" and the song "Cancion Contra la Indecisión" by Cuban guitarist and singer Silvio Rodriguez.
The title song is directed against the indecision that is counteracted in the original song with ironic lyrics and a light-footed melody; but also without this text the effect of this song intended by Silvio Rodriguez unfolds in the appropriately nimble improvised performance by the Bobo Stenson Trio. Erik Satie's "Élégie", one of three songs from the cycle Trois Mélodies from 1886, experiences by the Bobo Stenson Trio an appropriately simple and clear presentation, transferred into in the jazz world rhythmically spiced up. Mompou's "Cancion y Danza VI" has been the subject of jazz improvisations on several occasions. In the presentation by the Bobo Stenson Trio, Mompous' song and dance composition experiences a colorfully shimmering, rhythmically refined interpretation in an almost mystical super elevation. The trio's bassist takes on Bartok's "Wedding Song from Poniky" as part of an ingeniously executed short solo of a dancingly relaxed improvisation by the trio. The bassist shines in his "Three Shades of a House" with a detailed introductory solo including a sophisticated bow work. In "Stilla" we experience all three Trio members immersed in a blues-soul-stimulated conversation and in "Hemingway Impressions" we experience the trio caught in exotic enchantment.
On Contra la Indecisión the Bobo Stenson Trio is underway much more relaxed, but also more colorful than on the previous album Indicum, sometimes even brilliantly colorful. ECM can be proud to have its longtime star Bobo Stenson on board together with his two top-class classical trio members.
Bobo Stenson, piano
Anders Jormin, double bass
Jon Falt, drums