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.
The “Jazz album of the decade 2000 – 2010” (London Times). In a word: wow. Since their 1993 debut album, the Esbjörn Svensson Trio, or E.S.T., as it is usually called, have taken the jazz world by storm, winning numerous awards, playing sold-out world tours, topping the charts, and generally enjoying a popularity that's exceeded that of almost any other jazz group in years. The trio was also the first European jazz group to grace the cover of Down Beat magazine, which led to long discussions about the heritage of jazz and the validity of European jazz; and, naturally, it caused some listeners to perceive an artificial hype and discredit the band for simply not being as brilliant as everyone says they are.