Espen Berg – piano
Bárður Reinert Poulsen – bass
Simon Olderskog Albertsen – drums
Named JAZZ JAPAN’s biggest and most important discovery in the first half of 2016, the Norwegian jazz trio Espen Berg Trio released their second album, «Bølge» (Blue Gleam/Odin Records), in March 2018. This release has been marked by extensive touring in Japan, the Faroe Islands, Norway, Greece, Estonia, China and Spain. JAZZWISE (UK) writes that «Bølge» is a mature statement from an artist whose personal style, concept and seemingly bottomless wellspring of ideas set him apart from his contemporaries.
The trio’s third album, Free to Play, is due out in September 2019 on Odin Records. London based editor Chris May writes that the exquisite and enchanting Free To Play, the group’s third album – part in-the-moment soul, part through-composed formalism, part intimate collective-improvisation – is a deep-strata, 360-degree, access-all-areas, haute-couture, Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval blinder.
Espen’s melodic and rhythmically complex music serves as the basis for EBT’s dynamic, spontaneous and temperamental interplay. He is joined by the highly talented and hard working musicians Bárður Reinert Poulsen and Simon Albertsen, known from other bands such as Wako, The Fjords, Adeln and Aperture. They contribute with a personal approach and bring depth and variety to Espen’s compositions.
Espen Berg is an internationally award-winning pianist. In 2016 he received Norway’s largest music award, «JazZtipendiatet», at Molde Jazz Festival. He is a part of the Norwegian Jazz Launch programme in 2018, and Espen Berg Trio was appointed to official NTNU Ambassador at Trondheim Jazzfestival in 2016.
Though working in one of the most popular formats in jazz legacy Berg manages to suggest an independent, highly personal aesthetics that does not sound as indebted to the swinging or bluesy American jazz, the more abstract European jazz or the chilly-lyrical sound of the Nordic school, so identified with ECM label. -Eyal Hareuveny, saltpeanuts.eu