The death of Esbjorn was a real shock. I was lucky and privileged to get to know him in the days when he was just beginning to get known in the UK (between 1999 and 2003). I recall spending several late nights/early mornings at the Pizza Express! And Esbjorn had a modesty and a great memory of all those whom he had contact with. Having lost some of the connection with the band, as they moved onwards and upwards, and my work with ACT having ended, I suddenly got a phone call from Esbjorn after a gap of several years, and then met him, just for a short time, a few months later during a sound check at the Barbican.
The band, and Esbjorn in particular, always generated a special contact with each and every person who heard his music, either live or on recordings. And their music evolved steadily and subtly. This is something unique. And they kept the quality of sound and performance to perfection. It is no surprise that Ake Linton was the fourth member of the band. This ability is something very very rare.
Even their covers were effective. I recall taking "From Gagarin's Point Of View" into the Jazz on 3 offices along with a whole selection of other ACT albums in 1999. It was the one that they picked out from the cover alone! The only group that I have come across that approaches the reverence that the fans have is with The Necks.
It was an ambition of mine to bring them to the Vortex to play. Unfortunately that will now never come to pass.
Wishing his family, friends and fans long life.