|2-disc set recorded April 1999.
"Serenity" brings the work of the Stenson Trio to a new plateau, drawing on the richness of the jazz tradition, on folk music, Cuban song, 20th century composition, and free playing. The choice of material is inspired. In addition to pieces by each of the trio members and collective improvisations, we hear two pieces by Hanns Eisler, one by Charles Ives, and one by Alban Berg, plus Wayne Shorter's "Swee Pee", singer/songwriter Silvio Rodríguez's "El Mayor", and two accounts of the Swedish folk tune "Polska of Despair" by Lorens Brolin.
It's a pleasure to hear a recording such as Bobo Stenson's Serenity, a two-disc release with stunning technique and subtle emotional undercurrents. … Stenson's program is also remarkably ambitious, with originals by the pianist and Jormin contrasting with Wayne Shorter's "Swee Pea" and trio renderings of pieces by Alban Berg, Hanns Eisler and Charles Ives. Delivered in ECM's characteristically superb sound, the tracks are gripping examples of what can happen when a gifted European artist combines technique and emotion with a desire to reflect his own culture rather than parrot American standards.
Don Heckmann, Los Angeles Times