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My Swedish Heart

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Album Review

Viktoria Tolstoy isn't the only Sweden-based jazz artist who has provided both a Swedish-themed album and a Russian-themed album. In the 1960s, acoustic pianist Jan Johansson was inspired by Sweden's musical contributions on Jazz På Svenska ("Jazz for Sweden") and by Russia's musical contributions on Jazz På Ryska ("Jazz for Russia"). Tolstoy, similarly, has used jazz to acknowledge Sweden on My Swedish Heart and Russia on My Russian Soul. But while the late Johansson was an instrumentalist, Tolstoy is very much a singer — and on My Swedish Heart, she uses both lyrics and melodies to pay tribute to Swedish jazz artists. Many talented jazz improvisers have come from Sweden over the years; thus, no one can realistically expect a 46-minute CD like My Swedish Heart to salute every important Swedish jazz musician who ever lived. This is a CD, not an encyclopedia. But Tolstoy shows good taste, putting her spin on pieces by baritone saxophonist Lars Gullin ("I Hope It's Spring for You," "Danny's Dreaming"), bassist Anders Jormin ("Mayday"), pianist Esbjörn Svensson ("The Morning of You," "Dialogue"), and others. The fact that this 2005 release celebrates the Swedish jazz scene doesn't mean that Tolstoy pretends to be a jazz purist. Although acoustic-oriented post-bop is the album's primary ingredient, Tolstoy sometimes detours into folk, Euro-classical, and cabaret territory. But she does so tastefully, and achieves a healthy amount of diversity without forgetting that Swedish jazz is the theme of this outing — which is fairly unpredictable, but is also focused and coherent. My Swedish Heart is among the strongest albums in Tolstoy's catalog.


Born: Sweden

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

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. 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....
Full bio
My Swedish Heart, Viktoria Tolstoy
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  • 99,00 kr
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 28 March 2005
  • Parental Advisory

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