Swedish Music – Giants, Emerging Groups, Winners, and Up & Comers. Jan Johansson, E.S T., Jimmy Jansson, Jade Ell, and Josefina Sanner
It is not often that you get to review an assortment of music such as I obtained during my trip to Sweden. Not only was I introduced to a cross-section of genres, but I was introduced to a cross-section of giants, emerging groups, winners, and up-and-coming artists. I enjoy not only writing this column, but also delivering the music to Luxury Experience magazine readers.
Sweden has long been a key component for the world music scene, being a country that speaks English they became a test bed for many new bands from the United Kingdom as well as the United States, which in turn fostered the growth of world renowned bands such as Abba, so I was not surprised by the quality of music I heard.
When I ventured into the realm of Swedish music giants I was introduced to Jan Johansson and the CD entitled Folkvisor, which is a compilation of two recordings, Jazz på Svenska (Jazz in Swedish) and Jazz på Ryska (Jazz in Russian). I was taken by the music of this virtuoso of the piano; and I was also taken by the history and his untimely death at age 37. Jan met Stan Getz, a legend in the Jazz world, and it did not take long before he was playing with different American Jazz greats. He was the fist European to join “Jazz at the Philharmonic”. The CD is filled with Jan Johansson original scores, which contain characteristics of Swedish folk music, set to the soft jazz piano sounds. Scores such as Gammal bröllopsmarsch, Leksands skänklåt, and Emigrantvisa typify the Jazz på Svenska style and the Swedish folk style. The scores under the Jazz på Ryska have a distinct raw Jazz energy synonymous with much of the 50’s and early 60’s Jazz. Scores such as På ängen sod en björk, and Stepp, min stepp were my favorites. Finding Jazz like this is a real treasure.
Staying with the Jazz genre, a good friend recommended E.S.T. (Esbjörn Svensson Trio) and the CD entitled Strange Place For Snow. I was familiar with E.S.T. from the London Jazz Festival during travels in 2003, but I did not own any music from the trio. E.S.T is Esbjörn Svensson on grand piano and keyboards, Dan Berglund on double bass, and Magnus Öström on drums and percussion, together they create a very diverse sound. Their sound is direct and tight; I found this a great CD to listen to with headphones on. I enjoy the way the keyboards flow with the bass, while the drums keep it tight and drive the sound. The title cut Strange Place For Snow is a great cut to just relax to, and let the music come to you. Other great cuts were Behind The Yashmak, and at 10:22 in length I found myself just drifting with the music, in addition cuts like Bound For The Beauty Of The South and Spunky Sprawl show the depth of this trio. A great CD to listen to when you are working, it will provide the energy you need to keep going.
Everyone loves a winner, and I was recommended to listen to Jimmy Jansson and the CD Flickan Fran Det Bla; the winner of the Swedish Idol contest, the equivalent of the American Idol. This is a progressive rock CD laced with techno keyboards and standard guitar riffs, bass chords and strong drums. The first song out of the box, Som Sommaren had me bobbing to the sound, followed by Vad Va Det Som Hände, which was a driving cut that showed off the full band, and especially Jimmy Jansson’s guitar playing and vocals.
Up & Coming
Ever since I heard the artists Jade Ell and Josefina Sanner, when they were playing together at a concert during the Taste of Stockholm (see Destinations – Stockholm), I have been enjoying their music. They both sent me their individual sampler CDs, which if they were vinyl I would have worn out the grooves playing them. I love to find new talented artists with drive and so much ahead of them, I feel honored to provide my review of their music.
Jade Ell (www.jadeell.com) shows a depth in her music from her years of study in North America and Europe. I love Jade’s voice; she has strong control of her music and carries a song with her soft sultry voice. There are artists who can write and arrange a score, but can not master the balance that I heard from Jade as she shows off her vocals, lyrics, and an understanding of blending instruments to accent her music. I enjoy listening to all the songs on this CD from Fear, Not Even There, Borderline People, Bittersweet Dreams, and Sincere Apologies.
Josefina Sanner (www.Josefinasanner.com) not only sings, and arranges all her songs, but she also plays the Cello, Piano and Guitar on this incredible CD, entitled Evermore Songs. She is an engaging artist live, as well on her CD. Josefina’s style is rich with a pop style that embraces you and keeps you moving to the melodies throughout each song. Her vocals have a young exuberance that you have to hear to appreciate. The CD is a rich mix of music; the song titles alone show how she captures the beauty of life in everything she does; such as Follow Me, Big Sky, Without Love, Light Got Shadows, They Can’t Grow Up, Today (The most beautiful way), and Maybe In The Next World, truly reflect who Josefina is.
To read more on Sweden please see our Destination, Hotels & Resorts and Restaurant sections.
Note – Music Scene is not sponsored by any third party. All music that is written about in Music Scene are the views and experiences of the author, and reflects a compilation of music, acquired during travel to unique destinations, which was recommended by our country host or a local resident , or just happening upon a music event, or searching out a Jazz club, or other live music venue.
© November 2004. Luxury Experience www.luxuryexperience.com All rights reserved