Leucocyte may well be the final album by E.S.T., but it's an amazing way to go out. This recording offers more questions than it does answers initially, but gives up the latter as a sad but revelatory pay-off when one hears just what is accomplished here..
Straight from the heart, and it sounds it. EST's (Esbjörn Svensson Trio) finest album was spontaneously conceived – they just sat down and played. For most musicians, the result would be chaos, but Svensson's unique trio – who had been playing together since 1992, until his untimely death earlier this year – show how to conjure up a masterpiece from thin air on the impulse of the moment.
The grisly truth is that the remarkable jazz trio known as E.S.T. is no more. Esbjorn Svensson, the Swedish pianist and leader, died in June of this year in a scuba accident at 44. The Esbjorn Svensson Trio’s 12th and final album, however, remains. Leucocyte is a fitting legacy for a group that ….
I would be lying if I claimed to be an expert in Swedish jazz -- and I sincerely hope you don’t come to Prefix Magazine for up-to-date Swedish jazz coverage. I also would be lying if I claimed that the reason I’m covering Esbjörn Svensson Trio’s final album, Leucocyte, had nothing to do with the untimely death of frontman Svensson back in July at age 44. Instead, I listened to Leucocyte as a basis for understanding where the international jazz scene overlaps with what’s going on in the Anglo-American indie-rock scene.