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Image 4 Wheel Drive
Nils Landgren / trombone & vocals
Michael Wollny / piano
Lars Danielsson / bass & cello
Wolfgang Haffner / drums

It scarcely feels necessary to mention the pre-eminent status of all four of these artists, because that is evident from hearing the music. When Nils Landgren brings such feeling to his own melody “Le chat sur toit”, or when Michael Wollny dazzles with the bluesinfused piano solo in “Lady Madonna”; when “Polygon” opens with a bass intro from Lars Danielsson, or when Wolfgang Haffner sets up the power groove to propel “4WD”, then it’s clear what’s happening: four leading figures in European jazz who know each other well and who have appreciated each other’s work for many years have now got together. True, their paths have crossed many times before in all kinds of configurations, but here for the very first time are the four friends as a quartet. They decided to record an album together at the Nilento Studio in Gothenburg: “4 Wheel Drive”.

The title of the album reflects the equal role which each of the four musicians has had in setting the direction for the quartet. They take to the road together, both as superb soloists and as team players. In addition to one original composition from each of them, Landgren, Wollny, Danielsson and Haffner also decided that they would focus on four living creative forces from the recent history of music and interpret their tunes, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Phil Collins and Sting: So McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed” becomes a subtly-lit jazz ballad. Freed from everything extraneous, and transformed by Wollny’s prepared piano, Billy Joel’s “She’s Always A Woman” is a mysterious and enraptured love song. The musicians interpret Genesis’ song “That’s All” as a collage of instrumental sound. And for Sting’s song about letting go, “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free”, they find a fitting musical parallel: the freedom of jazz leads naturally to Landgren’s powerful trombone improvisation. The album is bookended with music from the fast lane: it opens with Wollny’s fast-paced showpiece “Polygon”, and closes with Danielsson’s “4WD”; he had Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in mind when he wrote this title track.

4 Wheel Drive: an ensemble with a high-performance four-cylinder engine, with all the gears meshing perfectly. And the fuel: jazz.

101 kr (169 kr)
Image Live Salvation
Dan Berglund / double bass
Johan Lindström / guitar, pedal steel
Martin Hederos / piano, synthesizers, violin
Andreas Werliin / drums

Recorded live in concert by Åke Linton at Bix, Stuttgart, November, 17, 2016

101 kr (169 kr)
Image Stockholm Underground
101 kr (169 kr)
Image Meet Me At The Movies
Line Up:
Viktoria Tolstoy / vocals
Krister Jonsson / guitars
Mattias Svensson / electric & acoustic bass
Rasmus Kihlberg / drums

Special Guests:
Iiro Rantala / piano
Nils Landgren / trombone & vocals

Viktoria Tolstoy’s voice has an intriguing, bittersweet, melting quality. And there’s her unique way of lingering tantalizingly between drama and melodrama. And there’s the way she simultaneously reveals both her Swedish heart and her Russian soul. But there’s something more: it’s her vivid way of scene-setting, the pictorial clarity she brings when she sings. Perhaps it is not that surprising: “I’ve been a massive film fan all my life,” she admits. “With the children around these days, I don’t get to the movies quite so often. So I really enjoy it when I can get to watch films on Netflix or HBO in a hotel on tour.”

And so, three years on from recording “A Moment Of Now”, which placed the singer in the intimate setting of a duo with pianist Jacob Karlzon, she now directs her attention to music from films. “Meet Me At The Movies” is an emotional journey through the history of film and of film music. The singer's route takes her from Herman Hupfeld's “As Time Goes By” from the Michael Curtiz film “Casablanca” through to Björk's “New World” from Lars von Trier's “Dancer In The Dark.” It goes from “Smile” from Charlie Chaplin's “Modern Times” to Seal's “Kiss From A Rose“ from “Batman Forever”. And it also takes in Michael & Lesley Gore's “Out Here On My Own” from “Fame” and Sarah McLachlan's “Angel” from “City of Angels” starring Nicolas Cage.

Tolstoy's original plans for this album included an orchestra. “I just love the big score”, she says. “All the strings, that music which brings the tears welling up. In Hollywood they are so brilliant at dropping in exactly the right sounds to grab the emotions, it's all worked out to the last fraction of a second, and it’s impossible to resist.” But in the end she chose the exact opposite for her core band for this project. She went for the fleet-footed sensitivity of a guitar trio, with bassist Mattias Svensson, drummer Rasmus Kihlberg, and Krister Jonsson playing guitars.

All three of these musicians have several years' experience of working with Tolstoy, so they are played-in, attuned to her artistry, and the mutual trust level is high.

The same goes for the producer of the album, that most successful of all jazz exports from Sweden, Nils Landgren. As is only natural, Landgren also features as trombonist on two tracks, and sings with Tolstoy in a duet on “Love Song For A Vampire”. At the suggestion of executive producer Siggi Loch, another guest stepped into the fray as well. Pianist Iiro Rantala is a musician who has given endless proof over time of his quite astonishing ability to transform well-known material in a way that is out of the ordinary and completely personal. His album of John Lennon songs were a huge critical and popular success and carried away several awards. On this album he gives his very individual and refined takes on seven songs from the movies. The way Tolstoy has expressed her thanks to the pianist is telling: “Quite a few times Iiro brought back Esbjörn [Svensson] to mind. I am just so happy with what has emerged from our work together.”

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Playing Gershwin
Only very few musicians are as well versed in both classical music and jazz as the Finnish pianist Iiro Rantala. With the acclaimed Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen he now continues his classical journey. Following the album "Mozart, Bernstein, Lennon" (ACT9868) which got nominated for the "International Classical Music Award", this new recording features repertoire by George Gershwin - for Rantala, with his strong melodies and great emotional warmth, a classical soulmate.

101 kr (169 kr)
Image Mare Nostrum III
Paolo Fresu / trumpet & flugelhorn
Richard Galliano / accordion, bandoneon & accordina
Jan Lundgren / piano
All good things come in threes, they say...

...and in fact the idea of a trilogy of albums – a first recorded in Italy, a second in France, and a third in Sweden – has been present in the minds of these three musicians ever since they first started working together.

What might appear as a vapid marketing idea is the genuine result of the shared musical identity which they have continued to develop together.

The three top-flight musicians Paolo Fresu, Richard Galliano and Jan Lundgren have a great deal in common: each is a superb instrumentalist in his own right, all three of them have a love of melody as their hallmark; and they also draw on the rich musical resources of their native countries, Italy, France and Sweden.

For over 12 years they have been playing together at the highest level, their incomparable sound is the inspiration for an ever-growing audience in countless countries, and they perform in the world’s most renowned concert halls.

So it came as no surprise to me as the producer of this session when the question arose spontaneously and more or less simultaneously: when are we going back into the studio together?

Once again it was a pure pleasure to see the sheer ease with which Paolo, Richard and Jan can create such great music. The results have a completely natural flow and the joy of making music together is palpable.

And as to the question of whether this is still “jazz”, it really doesn’t need to be asked: “Call it anything” said Miles Davis way back when – and how right he was!

René Hess

101 kr (169 kr)
Image Christmas With My Friends VI
Nils Landgren / trombone, vocals
Sharon Dyall / vocals
Jonas Knutsson / saxophon
Jeanette Köhn / vocals
Eva Kruse / bass
Jessica Pilnäs / vocals
Ida Sand / vocals, piano
Johan Norberg / guitar

"Christmas With My Friends VI" is a celebration, and everyone who enjoys exceptionally good Christmas songs from Bach to ABBA in new and characterful interpretations is most welcome to it. The established ensemble reinterprets also in the sixth issue Christmas songs from all over the world in a jazz spirit, bringing together the well-known with the less familiar, combining the cheerful with the contemplative.

101 kr (169 kr)
Image Summerwind
In “Summerwind”, enchanting melodies flow with an instinctive and natural grace and elegance. They develop in long arcs which bring a sense of profundity and contemplation. In a world in constant danger of overheating, Danielsson’s and Fresu’s music is a fresh and soothing breeze.

101 kr (169 kr)
Image mozart, bernstein, lennon
Iiro rantala / grand piano
Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
Florian Donderer / violin & orchestra leader

recorded live in concert at die glocke bremen
jazzahead! gala concert

Where does new music come from? And how? In my case the answer is very simple. I start improvising on the piano. Before that I do my scales, a little bit of Bach and some Chopin Études, like a good boy.
Then I improvise and if I hear something I dig, I start developing it into a composition. I don’t write it down. I need to remember it the next day, otherwise the idea isn’t clear enough. That’s a composer’s pre-selection. Only one’s strong will makes it into life. Like in the jungle.
I usually don’t have lack of ideas. Something comes out every time when I start improvising. Powerful musical ideas don’t come every day. But when they do come it’s always a fantastic moment of discovery.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was different. It seems like he had an endless amount of brilliant musical ideas. During the 35 years of his life he created so much fantastic music, it can be called a miracle. It seems that the music was ready in his head. He could skip the improvising. That’s how a genius works.

Enjoy listening,
iiro rantala

101 kr (169 kr)
Image The Jubilee Concerts
When Berlin audiences like what they hear, they have a spontaneous way of showing it – loud and strong. There was a wonderful moment, caught perfectly on this CD, at the end of “Missing A Page” by Emile Parisien and Joachim Kühn in the ACT 25th Anniversary concert, when the audience completely let go. To hear those whoops and cheers, the listener would never guess that these sounds emanate from people seated in neat rows of elegant ‘fauteuils’ in a classically-inspired 1820s theatre building. It is a roar from an eager crowd who clearly feel the compulsion to rise to the same level of devil-may-care raw energy as the saxophonist and the pianist. That moment, the bristling excitement in the hall seems to sum up the mood and spirit of a very special evening at the Konzerthaus on April 2nd 2017. The “ACT Family Band’s” Gala Concert was the last of three concerts on a day of celebration. And the date marked exactly twenty-five years – and one day – since the ACT label put out its very first release in 1992.

“We fly like birds of a feather,” runs the Sister Sledge lyric. And so the musicians did – they flocked to Berlin, thirty-four of them, from several countries of Europe, all artists who have found a nurturing home for their projects and talents on the ACT label. Several generations descended on the German capital. For example, Parisien and Kühn were born nearly forty years apart, but their mutual understanding, their common way of making music and generating excitement makes a detail like that an irrelevance. They all brought their combined energies to the event: a day of very fine concerts, a celebration of the passing of an important milestone, and a happy gathering for the label-as-family.

Parisien and Kühn are one of three trans-national duos on the album. While the French saxophonist and the German pianist brought high-voltage excitement, the two double basses of Lars Danielsson and Dieter Ilg channelled very different emotions. Two bassists playing together tends to be a recipe for pure joy, good humour, bonhomie and mischief, and that was exactly what these two master musicians offered. The third duo of Nils Landgren and Michael Wollny brought warmth, affection, and wistful poetry and beauty to Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns,” which opens the album. These three intimate conversations were just part of the story of an unforgettable day.

A quartet feature was led by violinist Adam Baldych, whose ski-ing accident just a few days before had not deterred him from attending this joyous gathering - he was supported by crutches to get on and off the stage. Then there was a special one-off formation of Nils Landgren’s Funk Unit in “Walk Tall”, the band propelled by Wolfgang Haffner’s crisp, in-the-pocket drumming.

One of the features of the ACT label is that founder Siggi Loch is a natural connector and helps the formation of new bands. A quintet around Nguyên Lê and the quartet led by Adam Baldych were created especially for the evening. Lars Danielsson’s “Suffering” has as its first soloists two ACT cornerstone artists who have helped to define the many-sided identity of the label: Nguyên Lê and Nils Landgren. Another more established quartet which ACT has helped into existence is the supergroup of Andreas Schaerer, Emile Parisien, Vincent Peirani, and Michael Wollny. “B&H” shows these four stars of European jazz, all similar age, keeping each other and the audience on their toes.

A celebration like this could run the risk of drifting into memory and nostalgia – this one didn’t. ACT has issued over 500 albums, so there is much to look back on with pride…but one moment found an inspired way to look to the future as well. The listener might wonder who the drummer and guitarist are, playing with such ease, flow and total assurance on “Dodge The Dodo.” They are Noa and Ruben Svensson, sons of the much-missed Esbjörn.

And then there is the finale. Having flown to Berlin “like birds of a feather,” the combined ensemble, led by Ida Sand, launched into “We Are Family”. As an expression of togetherness, of a shared joyful ethos it would be hard to beat. Mike Flynn, Editor of Jazzwise wrote in his review of the concert that the ACT label has “a smile on its face and a swagger in its step”. And where might the best evidence for that statement be found? It’s all there on this album.

101 kr (169 kr)
Image Good stuff
Vienna, Rome, Seoul... Iiro Rantala and Ulf Wakenius are musicians who travel the world, always on tour as leaders of their own projects. Each track of the album captures the mood of a different city. Rantala: “Every place is lifted by its music and is therefore unique. We've hunted down these specific sounds.”

101 kr (169 kr)
Image Twenty Five Magic Years - The Jubilee Album
ACT is proud to mark this milestone with a “Jubilee Album”. However, the label has taken care to steer well clear of the predictable. Except three tracks everything on the album is being released for the first time. The result is a newly crafted summation of the kind of music for which ACT exists: music that can touch the heart, stir the soul and lift the spirit of the listener. It is a kaleidoscope of magical musical moments by artists with an openness of mind to all genres and styles.

101 kr (169 kr)
Image Father and Son
One Father, One Son, Two Guitars

“He plays the guitar like he was born with it already in his hands” was how John McLaughlin once praised Ulf Wakenius. What is true for the father might be even more true for Ulf’s guitarist son Eric, who probably was quite literally born with one….

“Eric really is a blessing”, says Ulf Wakenius. “We have shared many concerts all over the world and it has always been a pure joy!” So the time is clearly right to document this family saga: “Father And Son” is a virtuoso conversation in the art of contemporary jazz guitar. This duo can launch into swing mode, or strut out towards rock, they are capable of being both lyrical and percussively extrovert, they can dream ballads or go at breakneck speed. And whether they are telling tales of exotic lands or contemplating their native Sweden, the pair — with their instinct for atmosphere, their sensitivity to acoustics and balance — make soul-stirring, affecting and compelling music, in which the listener can detect the closeness of their connection to each other.

The musical backgrounds of father and son are very different. Ulf Wakenius had ten years as a member of the Oscar Peterson Quartet and also worked with the two legends of the bass, Ray Brown and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen. He is known for his collaborations with great jazz figures such as Pat Metheny, Michael Brecker and Michel Legrand, and of course for his work with the singer Youn Sun Nah. He is not just one of the most busy and in-demand players, but also the most creative jazz guitarists of our era. His son Eric, by contrast was born in 1988 and surrounded as a teenager by the rock and pop music of the nineties. After that, he spent a lot of time in Los Angeles, where he picked up many different stylistic directions from that city’s musical melting pot. “He has played a lot of electric guitar”, explains Wakenius, “but — like me — he has fallen in love with the acoustic guitar and its many possibilities.”

101 kr (169 kr)
Image Christmas With My Friends V
line up
Nils Landgren / trombone & vocals
Sharon Dyall / vocals
Jonas Knutsson / saxophones
Jeanette Köhn / vocals
Eva Kruse / bass
Jessica Pilnäs / vocals
Ida Sand / vocals, piano & school organ
Johan Norberg / guitars & kantele

Fans of Nils Landgren will know him as Mr. Redhorn. This dare-devil Action Man drives his Funk Unit heroically from the front, sweat bejewelling his forehead. That, however is just one of the many sides of this popular and immensely likeable Swedish trombonist and bandleader. The master of the in-the-pocket groove also has a much softer, more romantic side. This sentimental mode found its most natural and effective method of expression in a thought he had exactly ten years ago. Landgren’s idea was not just a good one, it was a keeper: he would gather good friends around him, and they would celebrate Christmas together, through music.

So, in 2006, on went the red satin dinner jacket for the very first time, and “Christmas With My Friends” was born. The concert in the ancient Odensala Church in Stockholm was recorded, and then issued as a CD. It was to prove the beginning of an unprecedented success story. Every two years, Landgren took himself off on a Christmas season tour, alternating between Sweden and Germany. Four albums have chronicled this developing story, and each of them has in its turn been awarded with the German Jazz Award. Three of them have gone platinum, and the most recent (so far, watch this space...) is currently gold. The press and the public got right behind these albums from the start. The widely-read German current affairs magazine Stern garlanded “Christmas With My Friends” with the description of “the most beautiful of all the Christmas CDs of the year,” praising its “unique, bright, sparkling, festive atmosphere that goes straight to the heart." Stern was just as fulsome in its recommendation of the second album: “Our verdict is still the same. This one also glistens like a starry Nordic winter night sky.” The UK critic Dave Gelly writing in the Observer has praised the albums as follows: “There is an irresistible feeling of serenity and calm about the whole thing”...” “Landgren’s concept of a Christmas album is so much more sophisticated than the norm that it's the only possible choice for this season” …. “The secret lies in the combination of simple intimacy, polished musicianship and a programme full of subtly chosen surprises.” A visit in person to one of these concerts, often held in resonant churches, almost always completely sold out, gives a sense of the special mood they create: in the audiences are always radiant expressions from blissfully happy faces, and to judge by the expressions one sees, the concerts seem to answer a need, to be everything one could ever dream of, the very best way to get completely carried along by the Christmas spirit.

101 kr (169 kr)
Image How long is now?
Iiro Rantala / piano
Lars Danielsson / bass
Peter Erskine / drums, percussion

"Avoid the basic concept of the jazz piano trio and make it more groovy, with simple melodies” Iiro Rantala

After the album “My Working Class Hero,” dedicated to John Lennon and “Tears for Esbjörn,” a homage to the influential Swedish pianist, “How Long Is Now?” puts the spotlight fairly and squarely back on to the Finnish pianist, composer and life-force Iiro Rantala. This new trio album with Peter Erskine (drums) and Lars Danielsson (bass) constitutes a many-faceted summing-up of a happy and resoundingly creative phase of Rantala’s life.

Rantala says of the new album: “I think this is one of those ‘composition is the king’ kind of projects. The theme, the writing, the mood of the composition are the most important things.” Seven of the thirteen compositions here are by Rantala himself, three tracks by the other players in the trio, and three more are by others who, in their different ways, have helped to construct Rantala’s appealing musical personality.

Rantala has described clearly what he wants to do as a composer: to write “simple melodies that people can remember,” and there are several fine examples with catchy hooks on this album. For example, Rantala has set out to capture the contrasting personalities of each of his two young sons, and convey the evident delight they both bring their father. Rantala describes them: “Bruno likes simple things in life. Sleeping and eating. So the tune is simple. Only 3 chords: G, am7 and D7.” And what about his brother Topi? “Topi is more bossy, there is more edge and drama with him. So, the tune is in the minor and has some more of a feeling of danger.” Perhaps that danger might be found in rock arenas, because “Topi” has inspired a riotously flamboyant Little Richard-style piano solo from Rantala, and Danielsson plays an arco solo which sounds uncannily like a wailing rock guitar. There is also joy in lively, buoyant tunes such as “A Nut” and “Snapchat.”

The guest composers on the album are certainly an eclectic bunch: Jimi Hendrix, Kenny Barron and Johann Sebastian Bach. Hendrix’s “Little Wing” is a reminder that Rantala has very strong roots well outside the jazz tradition. When he is asked to name his musical influences, the first name Rantala comes up with (before those of Egberto Gismonti, Keith Jarrett and Michel Petrucciani), is Richard Tee, a presence on a vast quantity of R&B records from the 1970s onwards, and a seminal 'pop' piano influence through his gospel background. And what inspires Rantala’s take on Kenny Barron’s ‘Voyage?’ “It’s a mixture of Finnish Tango and...well...Voyage,” he says. And Bach, the “Kyrie” from the B minor mass? For Rantala this tune is a memory of a formative childhood moment: “I started my life in music singing Bach at age of seven in a boys choir.”

Rantala’s compositional horizons are mostly what defines “How Long Is Now?”, but he also has a conscious intention to take a jazz trio in a specific direction: “The basic concept,” he says, “is to avoid the basic concept of the jazz piano trio and to make it more groovy, with simple melodies.”

For “How Long Is Now?” Rantala extended the invitation to one of the great drummers of our time, Peter Erskine. Rantala was thrilled to have the opportunity in June 2015 to do just two concerts and this recording with Peter Erskine: "I love Peter Erskine's playing," he enthuses. "I grew up listening to him. Steps Ahead, Weather Report and particularly Word of Mouth." The collaboration and the juxtaposition of Rantala and Erskine are fascinating to witness, particularly with the astonishing close-up clarity and sound quality that engineer Adrian von Ripka has achieved in the Bauer Studio in Ludwigsburg. Rantala is a far more rhythmically assertive player than the pianists with whom Erskine has had the strongest associations in the past, such as Alan Pasqua and the late John Taylor.

Perhaps the best example the Erskine’s genius in this context is “A Nut,” where he responds to Rantala’s up-front challenges with a seemingly inexhaustible creative well-spring of rhythmic and tonal variety. The results are dazzling. Perhaps the best tribute that can be paid to Erskine’s playing right through the album is to quote Erskine himself describing what he always admired in Elvin Jones: "pure emotional expression and velocity, and being in tune or somehow plugged into a higher awareness of things."

The bassist of the trio is another consummate musician, Lars Danielsson, whose playing is consistently both subtle and authoritative. He has brought two compositions to the record. “Choral” is a short evocation of a winter morning. “Taksim By Night” presents a confluence of Eastern music and European classical tradition that Danielsson encountered personally when playing in the square in Istanbul, and which left an indelible impression.

A feature present throughout the album – and which was apparently much in evidence at the sessions too - is Iiro Rantala’s winning sense of humour. He recently told an interviewer on video: “We Scandinavians like minor and sadness... and pessimism and darkness.” But as he spoke all of those words, he never allowed a characteristically mischievous and ironic smile to slip from his face, even for a moment. In “How Long Is Now?” Rantala, Erskine and Danielsson have produced a thoroughly life-affirming album.

101 kr (169 kr)
Image Invisible Man
Jukka Perko / alto and soprano sax
Jarmo Saari / electric guitar
Teemu Viinikainen / acoustic guitar

Out of the ordinary: An unusual set-up leads to jaw-dropping inventiveness. "Invisible Man" is like a single film, a road-movie full of atmosphere, in which strong characterful melodies determine the plot. Whether being entertaining and exciting, or profound and contemplative, Avara definitely stirs the big emotions.

101 kr (169 kr)
Image Some Other Time - A Tribute to Leonard Bernstein
Nils Landgren / trombone & vocals
Janis Siegel / vocals
Jan Lundgren / piano
Dieter Ilg / bass
Wolfgang Haffner / drums

Right in time for Nils Landgren's 60th birthday celebration the most elaborate project of his unparalleled carrer will be published. This album includes the music of musiclas like "West Side Story and a phenomenal line-up, among others his All-Star band, Bochumer Symphoniker and singer Janis Siegel of the legendary "The Manhatten Transfer". Together with conductor and arranger Vince Mendoza they build a memorial for a friend of Jazz and great composer of the 20th century, Leonard Bernstein.

101 kr (169 kr)
Image Mare Nostrum II
Paolo Fresu / trumpet & fluegelhorn
Richard Galliano / accordion, bandoneon & accordina
Jan Lundgren / piano

The Long Wait is Over. Mare Nostrum presents 'The Sound of Europe'..... Part Two. Sardinian trumpeter Paolo Fresu, French accordionist Richard Galliano and Swedish pianist Jan Lundgren form the trio "Mare Nostrum". This band forges connections between the discrete musical cultures of its three protagonists. This new CD marks the return to the studio of a European supergroup. And they're on top form.

101 kr (169 kr)
Image Forevergreens
Crossover is a thing of the past: the future is Tonbruket!
This band, formed around e.s.t. bassist Dan Berglund, "loves to tear down genre borders [...] and exposes a fascinating sound somewhere between jazz and rock" (Stern magazine). Now, with its fourth album, Tonbruket continue their adventure-loving expedition into the no man's land between the most divergent of musical directions with "Forevergreens". The four musicians are in no way about any kind of crossover, their goal is sensual internalization.
Melodies, images, motifs, rhythms and sounds mix. Any attempt to locate this free-play on the accepted genre map is doomed to fail, because each song offers new hints as to its whereabouts. Just as many possible styles can be derived from the primal treasure of Tonbruket material as are influences required to accomplish in this mixture, which is as powerful as it is explosive. Tonbruket comprises four extreme individualists, who discover a unique collective identity here.
The dense band sound that interweaves the various instruments has priority over solo excursions. "Forevergreens" again lives and thrives on Berglund's and Werliin's enthralling grooves, on the variable guitar sounds of Lindström's and Hederos' solemn keyboard surfaces, but most of all on the tight-knit interplay of all these components together. Tonbruket stands for experiencing the sounds of the present, as they are shaped by hectic and stress, but also by an irrepressible longing for balance, harmony and peace.

101 kr (169 kr)
Image Stations
Viktoria Tolstoy med nytt band! Med den nya pianostjärnan Joel Lyssarides, Krister Jonsson, gitarr, Mattias Svensson, bas, och Rasmus Kihlgren, trummor, tolkar hon såväl svenska låtar av Ida Sand, Stina Nordenstam, Nils Landgren och Joel Lyssarides som utländska hits av bland annat Bob Dylan. Skivan är inspelad i Nilento Studio i Göteborg och producerad av Nils Landgren.

"Det är en typisk Tolstoy-skiva med gott och blandat av sedvanlig hög kvalitet, vilket gör skivan på samma gång lättlyssnad som variationsrik." (Alexandra Ullsten,

Högt betyg 5 (av 6) i Kulturdelen!
”Stations är kanske inte riktigt samma fullträff som Meet Me at the Movies men håller sedvanlig hög Tolstoy-standard. Och det räcker långt.” (Sten Wistrand,

The new album by vocalist Viktoria Tolstoy is a reflection of her very own understanding of jazz - with pieces by Swedish composers on the one hand, and of American jazz and song greats on the other. The piano seat of her new band is now, after Esbjörn Svensson and Jacob Karlzon, manned by Joel Lyssarides, a rapidly rising star of the Nordic jazz piano scene.

101 kr (169 kr)
Image My Soul Kitchen
Ida Sand / vocals & piano

Stockholm Underground
Jesper Nordenström / keys
Henrik Janson / electric guitar
Lars DK Danielsson / electric bass
Per Lindvall / drums
Magnus Lindgren / reeds

special guests:
Ola Gustafsson / electric & acoustic guitar
Paris Renita / background vocals
André Dahlbäck / background vocals
Nils Landgren / trombone & vocals

"My Soul Kitchen" is Ida Sand's clearest declaration yet of her love of "sweet soul music", and is also a demonstration of her deep affinity for it. Together with the Stockholm Underground band Sand has cooked a 'hot soul casserole'. There are songs by soul greats such as Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles and The Meters, which are completely at one with both Ida Sand's own tunes and with her soulful interpretations of the music of artists like John Fogerty and Mike Shapiro.

101 kr (169 kr)
Image Young At Heart
Ida Sand / vocals & piano
Jesper Nordenström / keyboards
Ola Gustafsson / guitars
Dan Berglund / acoustic bass
Christer Jansson / drums & percussion

Ida Sand has always been good for a surprise ortwo.
When she presented her ACT debut "Meet Me Around Midnight" in 2007 at the age of 29, after studying at
the University of Gothenburg's conservatory and then learning the ropes in the Stockholm jazz scene, it sounded so different than one would have expected from a Swedish vocalist: not an ethereal, "Nordic" pop-jazz, but pure soul, fueled by her dramatic timbre. Gospel and soul music greats like Nina Simone, Etta James and Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke, Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder had been Sand's early influences, and Sand has repeatedly reworked songs from these role models on her three ACT albums "into sparkling gems, with her dark, power-velvet voice," as the Financial Times so aptly put it. The press and the public both agreed that in Ida Sand they had heard a new "great white soul voice".

Sand had already included an interpretation of the Neil Young classic "Heart of Gold" on her album
"True Love", however that Sand would now dedicate the entire "Young At Heart" album to the Canadian folk-rocker and singer-songwriter legend was entirely unexpected.
"They often say that the mentality of Sweden and Canada are quite similar to each other.
Our countries have the same kind of climate and not seldom Swedish and Canadian culture have been described as "melancholic". Neil Young is Canadian and has been one of the greatest, most productive, influential lyricists and musicians of our time. He has enriched the music world by putting words and melodies to the human and existential questions that we all share. To me, that has been the traction of this project.
To capture the melancholy, which actually is a strong parameter of my DNA too."

In her own way she combed through Neil Young's opulent oeuvre, so characterized by style breaches and experiments as it is: "It is the lyrics I pay most attention to, then the feel and the energy that a song exudes. If it resonates with something in me, I sit down at the piano. I never filter out the chords of the original, because I don't want to adulterate my first impression. I try to improvise and sing it in my key, and then I just let it grow from there."

Sand mastered the challenge with seasoned support. Her mentor Nils Landgren again took on the
producer role for "Young At Heart", and also added his distinctive soul trombone and unmistakable voice to the
equation. Ida Sand's husband Ola Gustafsson, who was already right at the heart of her "True Love" album, acts as a kind of Neil Young alter ego on the guitars, leading the excellent band, which is made up of Jesper Nordenström on keyboards and organ, drummer Christer Jansson and e.s.t. bassist Dan Berglund. Tenor saxophonist Per "Texas" Johansson, renowned for his soul sound and Sven Lindvall on the e-bass joined the party as guests, along with famous Swedish Rock singer Bo Sundström and background vocalists.

"It has been such a great experience for me to dive into the music of Neil Young. I'm Swedish and I've done my best to keep the essence of the music intact, but with a new and personal twist." Sand can rest assured that she has succeeded, be it on classics like "Cinnamon Girl", "Harvest Moon" or "Helpless", on intimate ballads like "Birds", tempo-groove numbers like "Sea Of Madness", folk protest songs like "War Of Man" or on lavish rock anthems like "Ohio".

Welcome to the vibrant, powerful, epic world of Neil

101 kr (169 kr)
Image Moment of Now, A
Viktoria Tolstoy / vocals
Jakob Karlzon / Steinway grand piano,
pump organ, celesta, Fender Rhodes

Special Guest on Send One Your Love:
Jocke Bergström / vocals

Though there are many beautiful singing voices in jazz today, Viktoria Tolstoy is one of a kind. A great melodramatist of jazz who is also bipolar, she makes happiness sound fragile and threatened, and bitterness sweet and enchanting. She has framed and perfected this art on a conceptual level since becoming an ACT artist in 2003, whether concentrating on material from Esbjörn Svensson - whose e.s.t. began to some extent as her accompanying trio - or, most recently, on Herbie Hancock, classical originals, Swedish standards or repertoire from Russia, the home of her ancestors. Her latest album "A Moment Of Now" is her most frank recording yet - for one simple reason: "Jacob [Karlzon] and I are the concept this time," says Viktoria. Indeed it is an intimate album by the duo that focuses on their musical partnership. Karlzon has been Tolstoy's trusted companion on her band projects for almost 15 years now, his playing thrives on nuances, transitions, ambiguities - be they inspired by classics such as Grieg or hard rockers the likes of KoRn. It is a partnership that shows no signs of abating, despite Karlzon's own highly successful trio that bears his name. "We each generally know in advance what the other is thinking and is going to do, without either of us having to say anything. It's almost a bit spooky," says Tolstoy of the intuitive understanding between the two.

Their style depends on melodies like a fish depends on water, and 14 of the best are brought together on "A Moment Of Now". As Tolstoy explains, they are "songs we've heard a lot in recent years, and that imposed themselves on us, but also some that were entirely new to us and were really a challenge". This has resulted in a selection that sounds entirely coherent and as if created especially for these two musicians, even though its component parts come from the most diverse, stylistic, and often surprising backgrounds. From the classical "Apres Un Reve" by the Frenchman Gabriel Faurè, to Stevie Wonder's soul-pop "Send One Your Love" - on which Tolstoy invited Jocke Bergström, a new face in these climes, to share in a vocal duet that simply takes your breath away - to the jazzy "Shadow And Light" by Joe Zawinul. Thanks to Tolstoy's father, who suggested Phil Collins' "Against All Odds", the entire history of Genesis is represented, so to speak, with "Taking It All Too Hard" and Peter Gabriel's "Red Rain" also rebooted on the album.

Beyond global hits like these or Alanis Morissette's biggest success "Hand In My Pocket", the album also includes new discoveries like "Satisfied" from the almost-forgotten funk virtuoso Lewis Taylor and "Deep River" from Norwegian jazz saxophonist Benedik Hofseth. Among the pieces, three were originally instrumentals; namely "Apres Un Reve" (based on Faurè's "Apres Un Reve"), the Pat Metheny revamp "A Moment Of Now", and Karlzon's own composition "Scent Of Snow". For these, Anna Alerstedt, the fantastic songwriter who Tolstoy discovered in 2008 for "My Russian Soul", once again pens profound and memorable lyrics.

The ease with which Viktoria Tolstoy and Jacob Karlzon can change the fundamental character of songs that otherwise seem to be set in stone is quite spectacular. The best example of this is their interpretation of Mark King's "Lessons In Love", transformed from a loud up-tempo song by the funk band Level 42 into a melancholy ballad. There's also Cole Porter's classic "I Concentrate On You", which rings out as a Nordic anthem, and which in the middle section is even reminiscent of Esbjörn Svensson's "Love Is Real". But above all, what the songs all have in common is an overwhelming quietude and power. The weighty and complex sounds light and easy - just note the jumps and key changes on "Satisfied", where the subtle nuances and vocals change and shape the music.

There is a calmness and strength in the music that comes from experience and draws from the tried and trusted. For example, Nils Landgren returns as the producer, while the album was recorded with the familial team at Nilento Studios in Goteborg. "I felt safe and well looked after at every moment," Tolstoy recalls, "Never change a winning team!". This is how a fascinating and completely unique moment in her and Karlzon's oeuvre was born-and it is one that will remain.


Mästerlig duo.

"Det var längeedan jag lyssnade så många dagar och kvällar i rad på en och samma skiva. Och den fortsätter att vilja bli spelad. Viktoria Tolstoy och Jacob Karlzon har i det sparsmakade duoformatet skapat ett litet mästerverk.

Ett mycket intressant koncept eftesom nästan hela skivan består av tolkade covers, ursprungligen skrivna av de mest skiftande typer av musiker och kompositörer. Gemensamt är att det är "sånger vi verkligen gillar, som gripit tag i oss" som Viktoria uttryckte det på en förhandskonsert inför en längre Tyskland-Sverige-turné.

Tolkningarna är raka, enkla, här finns inga manér, inga krusiduller eller krångligheter, här finns bara två fullödiga konstnärer som tillsamans gör något de är bra på. Tillsammans och var för sig, för ibland låter det nästan som om var och en spelar och sjunger på sitt eget vis, sida vid sida, samtidigt, men intrycket blir aldrig splittrat. eftersom den denes spel ändå förstärker den andras sång och vice versa. Och röstkonstnären Viktoria Tolstoy har är fått en mörkare, djupare och mer allvarsam ton som är vilsam och vacker mot en fond av Jacob Karlzons finstämda pianospel."
Eva Nikell

101 kr (169 kr)
Image My Working Class Hero
4/5 i DN

"Att hylla The Beatles och särskilt John Lennon är ju inget ovanligt i sig - snarare tvärtom och ofta med mediokert resultat. Men den finske pianisten Iiro Rantala får ut oerhört mycket av låtar som "Working class hero", "Help" och (till och med) "Imagine". Förhållandevis få svenskar känner till Rantala, eller finska jazzmusiker överhuvudtaget. Men här har vi kanske den europeiska pianist som sammantaget kommer Keith Jarrett närmast. De har den stilistiska bredden gemensam, men också skärpan och de kreativa kasten. Rantala har dessutom humor, vilket ger den här soloinspelningen - uppföljaren till "Lost heroes" från 2011 - ett subtilt mervärde som Jarrett snarast ersätter med att vara hög på sig själv. Fördel Rantala - och Lennon.
(Johannes Cornell, Dagens Nyheter)

101 kr (169 kr)
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