Recorded May 1997.
A pianist who has always given more attention to the shape of a melody than to the condition of his outward career, musicians' musician Bobo Stenson is suddenly ubiquitous. His work with Tomasz Stanko and Charles Lloyd has been acclaimed by critics worldwide, he is the musician most extensively featured on the ECM anthology Selected Signs, and his own Swedish/Norwegian trio has become one of Europe's most popular touring bands. The trio's previous release Reflections collected several prizes, including a Swedish Grammy and the Golden Record Award of Orkester Journalen. War Orphans finds Stenson, Anders Jormin and Jon Christensen in peak form as they rove freely through an intriguing repertoire that includes two Ornette Coleman tunes, Ellington's "Melancholia", a beautiful Cuban love song by Silvio Rodríguez, and original material by bassist Jormin and the leader.
War Orphans, named after a tune by Ornette Coleman, is an intense and intelligent trio session. It‘s an amazing unit - driven largely by a continuous dialogue between the three instruments - and one that occasionally seems to think with one mind. Stenson himself plays with some of Jarrett‘s arhythmic introspection, but avoids the dramatic emotionalism associated with the Jarrett school. It should be a real treat to hear a band like this in a simpatico clubsetting. - Linton Chiswick, Time Out