Label: Ecm Records
This Norwegian pianist specializes in ethereal, noir-etched romantic ballads (think Bill Evans or late-period Chet Baker placed in amber). Gustavsen's touch is assured as his trio puts rhythmic tension into a somewhat glacial playing style that keeps his tunes interesting and emotionally alive. This 2007 set is his best yet, with group interplay enhanced further by the quality of his tunes, which find the sweet spot between lingering melodies and mood pieces. Numbers such as "Draw Near" and "At Home" are intoxicating, while "Blessed Feet" and "Where We Went" show the trio getting funky (in a reserved Scandinavian way).