After a trilogy of trio recordings which explored a clearly-demarcated melodic terrain, Gustavsen’s latest effort is a strikingly different album from the pianist at the head of a reconfigured band. Into the group come two Norwegian improvisers - bassist Mats Eilertsen and saxophonist Tore Brunborg. Inside the ensemble new aspects of interactive possibility open up as duo, trio and quartet instrumental combinations explore the space inside Tord's compositions - his gospel-inflected hymns and lullabies and ballads and his pulsing, almost minimalistic grooves.
Their debut album Restored, Returned also includes the voice of Kristin Asbjørnsen. She wraps her bluesy phrasing huskily around the poetry of WH Auden and vocalizes wordlessly on three takes of Gustavsen's "Left Over Lullaby".