Standing Wave //

Album label: 
Release date: 
Recording date: 
Tuesday, November 2, 1999
Artwork design: 
Thomas Hukkelberg
  • 1. Mural (10:07)
  • 2. Standing Wave (18:32)
  • 3. Axel (06:28)
  • 4. Edvard (17:26)
  • 5. Elongate (09:12)

Sten Sandell trio was established in 1999 in Stockholm and has worked regularly both there and in Oslo. The trio's musical work is in the tradition of European improvised music and among the strongest and most intense piano trios in Scandinavia today.

«Standing wave» was recorded at the Oslo-club BLÅ, November 1999 and at the Munch museum in Oslo, October 2000.

Mats Gustafsson's liner notes describes the music perfect: With the enormous amount of improvised music put out today, there is not much that sticks out, but this trio stands for the values of music which I believe in above all.

For me, this is great!!!

Liner notes
Impossible to defend oneself when everything is gushing over me, in me.
A unique and personal music that lives in the instant and gives the joy of an experience!
The images flow over me, within me!

– This is great!

An incredible complex trio sound where traditions and renewal meet. (No problem, it is possible!!!)

The bass’ carving,
the hub’s enormous centrifugal force,
the fulfilment of the crushing vibrations...

The immediate presence of the drums,
the heatened breathing of the flow,
the direct opening effect of the attack (Paal, you rock!),
an endless variation of colours that invite...

The piano
the piano
and the piano...

I’ve had the great privilege of working with this fantastic piano player for over thirteen years now.

What is happening?

He keeps on shocking me with his playing which is so full of originality, direction and energy that the snow outside our house is melting and the birds lose their nicest feathers.

Sten Sandell can not be compared with other piano players, neither technical nor musical, this is great!

The stroke crushes

Sten's originality takes from Nancarrow's possessing flow, Powell's details, Monk's quirkiness, Ligeti's intricate rhythm and the nerve in Henry Cow at the absolute highest pressure!! But he takes the step right out and creates a very personal music where quotes and references are never heard, but is felt.

– This is great!

The Sten Sandell trio has presence in their music that puts everything in its place!

This is music
which will

Johan and Paal, together with Sten, create marvellous music that doesn't let itself be restrained, but strains...

...and that lets loose...

To translate music into words is an impossible task (thank God!), and I am not much for trying to convey my subjective opinions about anyone's music in this kind of form, but I find this music fantastic, and therefore I must express it!

With the enormous amount of improvised music put out today, there is not much that sticks out, but this trio stands for the values of music which I believe in above all.

For me, this is great!!!

Mats Gustafsson, March 2001, Gustavsberg, Sweden

The Wire
«The biggest revelation of the festival was Sandell's own trio, finding the pianist's menacing motifs hovering above Johan Berthing's churning bass and the restless barrage of percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love, offering startling contrast to the glorious weather outside.»

The Wire, August 2001 (after the concert at Vancouver Int. Jazzfestival)

Jazz Weekly
«Taking the traditional jazz piano trio one step forward into the future, this admirable CD also shows off the advanced instant compositional skills of some of the musicians who live on the roof of Northern Europe.»

Ken Waxman

Jazz Weekly
«Easily one of the best releases of this year.»

Steven H. Koenig

«Det er lenge siden jeg hørte en jazzinnspilling der lyset slås så brått på som på «Standing Wave». Man blir faktisk blendet fra start

«Nilssen-Loves intense måte å vere til stades med trommespelet sitt på, imponerer alltid»

Roald Helgheim

«Sten Sandell er en svensk pianist med et voldsomt - på alle slags vis - uttrykk. Når han har med seg vår egen Paal Nilssen-Love på trommer og perkusjon, er det ikke vanskelg å begripe at resultatet blir komprimissløs musikk av meget høy kvalitet.

Tor Hammerø