Despite the fact that 2008’ Leucocyte, would be the Esbjörn Svensson Trio's final album due to the tragic scuba diving accident that killed Svensson, this was a band that had traversed such wide musical territory they deserved a retrospective treatment simply to sum up what had transpired between the release of 1993’s When Everyone Has Gone and that premature finale. While this 70-minute single disc doesn’t contain any unreleased material, or pre-1999 material (in favor of presenting the trio’s fully developed aesthetic), it is beautifully compiled.
It's a damn shame that Leucocyte is the final studio album by the Esbjörn Svensson Trio. Svensson died in a tragic diving accident in June of 2008, shortly after this set was finished. More than any other recording issued by this excellent band, Leucocyte captures the art of music making at the moment of conception; it was recorded as live-in-the-studio improvisation over two days in an Australian studio. It was completely finished, post-production and all, with a release date before Svensson's death. The words "post-production" mean plenty when it comes to E.S.T.'s music. The trio often recorded and added sonic effects to their structured, composed pieces. It underscored their hip sophistication and accessibility. It made them a hit with both jazz fans and younger audiences who listen to Radiohead, Sigur Rós, and even heavy metal more than jazz.
Born in Dublin, Mississippi in 1943, Jimmy Burns derived his earliest inspiration from the records of Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and others. After Jimmy moved to Chicago in the mid-'50s he discovered a scene that was perfect for the meld of traditional blues, churchy emotionalism, and forward-looking pop/R&B sophistication that by then comprised his musical aesthetic. When he finally signed with Delmark in the mid-'90s, he was primed and ready to take his place as a leading blues recording artist. Live at B.L.U.E.S. captures perfectly the indelible combination of joyful spirits, warm-hearted intimacy, and sharp-witted intelligence that characterizes Jimmy Burns, as both a musician and a man. With special guest vocalist Jesse Fortune.