Okay, so I mention EST already in the headline to get your attention. I will try not to during the remainder of this post. Love that trio as much as anyone else but this time it’s about Magnus Öström — the band leader.
“Thread of Life”, the first album under Öström’s name, is released next month and I have no idea what it will sound like. I’ve never heard his compositions before (he’s not exactly known as a composer, but apparently he’s written everything for this occasion). And I’ve never heard of the other musicians featuring on it, except bassist Dan Berglund and a certain Pat Metheny (both guesting on one track).
But I’ve seen and heard Öström play in so many different constellations that I know that regardless of whom he plays with, the sound of his is always brilliant.
He’s the team player that always makes the right contribution. Sensitive brushes, heavy rock beats, drum n’ bass-styled riffs, he does it all with bravura depending on the song and the setting. Astounding technique and exquisite touch. Impeccable beat. And his solos are interesting — a rare thing. Most drummers bore me to tears with their endless show-off solos.
Yes, I’m the uncritical fan, I know. Öström is the drummer’s drummer in my world. Ask pianist Bobo Stenson, guitarist Max Schultz, or singer Jeanette Lindström and they’ll probably agree with most of what I say (I’m too lazy to provide links to these three acts, but I recommend them too).
Remains to be seen how Öström, who’s quite reserved and low-key as a person, handles himself at the helm.