These tunes prove that modern jazz can comfort without turning sentimental.
What Took You So Long is a reflective instrumental pop album that will get jazz fans excited. This sophomore release from the Espen Eriksen Trio achieves a balance that demonstrates the growing maturity of these fine players. The strength of this album resides in an uncomplicated approach to melody and tight song structure. What Took You So Long is wrapped in folk melodies and straightforward statements that successfully forego gimmicks. The virtuosity of restraint will please both modern jazz fans and the uninitiated alike. One could make obvious comparisons to the melodic sensibilities of Brad Mehldau and Tord Gustavsen. These tunes prove that modern jazz can comfort without turning sentimental. Listen for the group’s cover of Barry Manilow’s “Could It Be Magic” and the fine counterpoint reciprocity between pianist Espen Eriksen and bassist Lars Tormod Jenset.