Gustavsen tours extensively world-wide, and he has been a bandleader of a trio and a later ensemble both of which bore his name. The Tord Gustavsen Trio, with Harald Johnsen on double bass and Jarle Vespestad on drums, released three albums by April 2007 for ECM Records; Changing Places in 2003, The Ground (2004), and Being There (2007). He followed them with an album recorded by an ensemble he assembled in 2009, Restored, Returned - an album which was awarded with Spellemannsprisen (the Norwegian Grammy) in 2008.
In addition, he has recorded as a session musician, and guested on friends' albums. Gustavsen's new Quartet with Tore Brunborg on saxophone, Mats Eilertsen on double bass, and Jarle Vespestad on drums, is highly praised for their album The Well (2012).
Gustavsen continues to be highly interested in psychology and has written a lengthy thesis on the paradoxes of improvisation drawing on the dialectical psychological theory of Helm Stierlin and Anne-Lise Løvlie Schibbye.