|Viktoria Tolstoy & Jacob Karlzon — A Moment of Now (2013)|
Viktoria Tolstoy & Jacob Karlzon — A Moment of Now
Θ≡ The great-great-granddaughter of the Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy, singer Viktoria developed a small but dedicated following in Sweden in the early 90s.
Θ≡ Jacob Karlzon's music resides in the intersections where Scandinavian expressions such as space, melancholy and sensitivity blend with heat and passion.
Birth name: Louise Viktoria Kjellberg
Born: July 29, 1974, Sigtuna Municipality, Stockholm County, Sweden
Location: Malmö ~ Stockholm, Sweden
Album release: November 12, 2013
Record Label: ACT
01. I Can Let Go Now 4:47
02. Deep River 4:58
03. Red Rain 5:05
04. A Moment Of Now 4:14
Pat Metheny / Lyrics by Anna Alerstedt
05. Against All Odds 4:26
06. Hand In My Pocket 3:37
Alanis Morissette & Glen Ballard
07. Taking It All Too Hard 2:48
Anthony Banks, Phil Collins & Mike Rutherford
08. Lessons In Love 5:34
Mark King, Waliou Badarou & Rowland Gould
09. Shadow And Light 5:30
John Lang, Joe Zawinul & Richard Page
10. Satisfied 4:43
Lewis Taylor & Michael Mondesir
11. I Concentrate On You 5:37
12. Scent Of Snow 4:24
Jacob Karlzon / Lyrics by Anna Alerstedt
13. Send One Your Love 4:34
14. Northern Star 3:45
Gabriel Fauré / Lyrics by Anna Alerstedt
Θ≡ Special guest on Send one your love Jocke Bergsröm
Θ≡ Produced by Nils Landgren
Θ≡ Co-produced by Jacob Karlzon & Lasse Nilsson
Θ≡ 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.
Θ≡ 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.
Θ≡ 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.
Θ≡ b. Sweden. The great-great-granddaughter of the Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy, singer Viktoria developed a small but dedicated following in Sweden in the early 90s. Θ≡ Her mid-90s recording debut, Smile, Love And Spice, for which she was praised by Swedish jazz musicians such as Arne Domnérus, Svante Thuresson and Putte Wickman, began attracting attention further afield. She gained even more attention and greater commercial success with 1996’s För Älskad, a pop album that hinted strongly at star potential. Signed to Blue Note Records, she released White Russian in 1997, most of the songs on which were written by Tolstoy in collaboration with pianist Esbjörn Svensson. Following on the release of this CD, Tolstoy toured Germany, accompanied by Svensson’s trio. The weight of the Blue Note contract helped her gain entry to the inner circles of jazz and she performed with Ray Brown, singing with him in 2000 in Geneva, Switzerland, McCoy Tyner, and others. Nevertheless, she concentrated for a while on strengthening her base in Sweden. Θ≡ Subsequent albums, especially those following a shift to ACT Records, demonstrate her development as a strong singer and how much she has learned from her association with able jazz musicians. In 1999 she appeared in London at the Swedish Jazz Extravaganza. The release of Shining On You early in 2004 was concurrent with a Rising Stars tour of Germany, Denmark, Austria and Switzerland. In addition to Scandinavian and northern European countries, Tolstoy has also appeared in Italy and Malaysia.
Θ≡ Jacob has been compared to such luminaries as Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans and Sweden’s own legendary pianist Jan Johansson. His playing style boasts technical brilliance, great rhythmic and harmonic complexity and a perfect feeling for form.
Θ≡ Jacob Karlzon applies a concrete image when he speaks about his music: “We are modern people with a history, and it is precisely this which is reflected in my music. I am fascinated with the possibilities of new technologies. However, I also need a sense of warmth and a connection with the earth in order to feel happy”. — A wide horizon thus, which also includes unusual facets, especially for a piano virtuose: Metal and electro have their place in his music as well as folk songs from his Swedish homeland. Θ≡ With such an open attitude, Karlzon balances the depths of his musical ideas and achieves vibrant pulsating soundscapes in a spectrum from light to energetic, fragile to powerful, organic to electronic — sometimes all at once. He calls his creations — his ability to bring into harmony his musical skills and preferences — 'technorganic', in a free play of transcending musical borders. It is precisely in this way that he has expanded European jazz in recent years.
Θ≡ His stupendous technique and his tremendous sensibility made him a popular 'sideman' already in his early career. He accompanied stars like Silje Nergaard, Nils Landgren, and Viktoria Tolstoy. He shared the stage with Billy Cobham, Kenny Wheeler, Norma Winstone and other greats of his genre. And with the growing reputation of his musical play, his own projects also received growing recognition. In 2010 he was awarded the Swedish Django d'Or and was voted Jazz Musician of the Year in Sweden. Θ≡ Being elected into the renowned group of Steinway-Artists in 2012 was an international recognition of excellence.
Θ≡ So far, Karlzon has produced nine albums under his own name, the most recent one, MORE, under the German ACT Label. Besides solo recordings and Quintett productions, he works primarily with his JK3 Formation as a creative unit. From the beginning, Hans Andersson has been playing the bass, while in 2013 Robert Mehmet Ikiz took over the drums from Jonas Holgersson and enriches the sound of this band with his great dynamic force.
Θ≡ Jacob Karlzon is always on the search for new places, — not only in his music. After concerts in Europe, JK3 recently toured China and the USA. And despite his rising fame and his journeys to ever more distant countries, he always likes to return to the beginnings of his career and his early musical ideas: 'I got into jazz because I loved improvisation. And this kind of spontaneous play achieves ever new levels in the direct communication with the audience, in the exchange of energy and emotion. Performing live is for me the original place of music — not an educational event, but an ecstatic experience on both sides.
Discography Jacob Karlzon:
Θ≡ 2013 — "A MOment of Now"
Θ≡ 2012 — "More"
Θ≡ 2011 — "The Big Picture"
Θ≡ 2009 — "Heat"
Θ≡ 2008 — "Improvisational"
Θ≡ 2003 — "Big5"
Θ≡ 2002 — "Today"
Θ≡ 1998 — "Going Places"
Θ≡ 1996 — "Take Your Time“
Discography Viktoria Tolstoy:
Θ≡ 1994 — Smile, Love and Spices
Θ≡ 1996 — För Älskad
Θ≡ 1997 — White Russian
Θ≡ 2001 — Blame It On My Youth
Θ≡ 2004 — Shining on You
Θ≡ 2005 — My Swedish Heart
Θ≡ 2006 — Pictures Of Me
Θ≡ 2008 — My Russian Soul
Θ≡ 2011 — Letters to Herbie
She is also featured on other artists' recordings:
Θ≡ 1998 — Svante Thuresson: Här kommer natten
Θ≡ 2002 — Nils Landgren: Sentimental Journey
Θ≡ 2004 — Nils Landgren Funk Unit: Funky ABBA
Manager: Eva Maria Thiessen , Eva Maria Thiessen
|Viktoria Tolstoy & Jacob Karlzon — A Moment of Now (2013)|
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