account
basket
Challenge Records Int. logo
A Moment of Now

Viktoria Tolstoy & Jacob Karlzon

A Moment of Now

Format: CD
Label: ACT music
UPC: 0614427972729
Catnr: ACT 97272
Release date: 25 October 2013
Buy at PlatoMania
1 CD
Buy at PlatoMania
 
Label
ACT music
UPC
0614427972729
Catalogue number
ACT 97272
Release date
25 October 2013
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN

About the album

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.

Artist(s)

Jacob Karlzon

Presenting Swedish pianist Jacob Karlzon, ACT impressively demonstrates that even though there are quite a few piano trios around, there is still room for innovation when playing in the classical formation of piano, double bass and drums.  On his ACT debut 'More', Karlzon defies every convention of the genre. He merges pop and rock elements with the typical attributes of Scandinavian jazz, such as inspirational space, sweet melancholy and clear, catchy melodies – and all this with a dynamic range from fragile chamber music to heavy metal. The fact that Karlzon is one of the technically most accomplished and virtuous jazz pianists today, almost has to take a back seat. He is far more interested in the song itself, its specific mood...
more
Presenting Swedish pianist Jacob Karlzon, ACT impressively demonstrates that even though there are quite a few piano trios around, there is still room for innovation when playing in the classical formation of piano, double bass and drums. On his ACT debut "More", Karlzon defies every convention of the genre. He merges pop and rock elements with the typical attributes of Scandinavian jazz, such as inspirational space, sweet melancholy and clear, catchy melodies – and all this with a dynamic range from fragile chamber music to heavy metal. The fact that Karlzon is one of the technically most accomplished and virtuous jazz pianists today, almost has to take a back seat. He is far more interested in the song itself, its specific mood and energy and the way the music may make its way into the hearts of the audience. The accepted definition of jazz has become far too narrow for Karlzon. His compositions have the effect of good pop songs. Next to the acoustic and electronic piano sounds there has always been space for a lot of synthesiser – but never as distinctively as on "More". Karlzon became known as a sideman of singer Victoria Tolstoy and has been a permanent member of her band since her 2005 album "My Swedish Heart". He also featured on her last recording "Letters to Herbie" – the album was a tribute to pianist Herbie Hancock. Karlzon himself already released his first album as a band leader in 1992. "More" is his sixth album. He also participated in the production of around 40 more recordings. Alongside his collaboration with Viktoria Tolstoy he played with Billy Cobham, Kenny Wheeler, Tim Hagans, Jeff Ballard, Cæcilie Norby, Nils Landgren and many more. In the course of his career Karlzon has received many distinguished awards. In 1997 he was awarded the "Jazz in Sweden Award" and considered the newcomer of the year by Swedish radio. In 2010 he received the renowned French jazz award "Django d'Or".

less

Composer(s)

Jacob Karlzon

Presenting Swedish pianist Jacob Karlzon, ACT impressively demonstrates that even though there are quite a few piano trios around, there is still room for innovation when playing in the classical formation of piano, double bass and drums.  On his ACT debut 'More', Karlzon defies every convention of the genre. He merges pop and rock elements with the typical attributes of Scandinavian jazz, such as inspirational space, sweet melancholy and clear, catchy melodies – and all this with a dynamic range from fragile chamber music to heavy metal. The fact that Karlzon is one of the technically most accomplished and virtuous jazz pianists today, almost has to take a back seat. He is far more interested in the song itself, its specific mood...
more
Presenting Swedish pianist Jacob Karlzon, ACT impressively demonstrates that even though there are quite a few piano trios around, there is still room for innovation when playing in the classical formation of piano, double bass and drums. On his ACT debut "More", Karlzon defies every convention of the genre. He merges pop and rock elements with the typical attributes of Scandinavian jazz, such as inspirational space, sweet melancholy and clear, catchy melodies – and all this with a dynamic range from fragile chamber music to heavy metal. The fact that Karlzon is one of the technically most accomplished and virtuous jazz pianists today, almost has to take a back seat. He is far more interested in the song itself, its specific mood and energy and the way the music may make its way into the hearts of the audience. The accepted definition of jazz has become far too narrow for Karlzon. His compositions have the effect of good pop songs. Next to the acoustic and electronic piano sounds there has always been space for a lot of synthesiser – but never as distinctively as on "More". Karlzon became known as a sideman of singer Victoria Tolstoy and has been a permanent member of her band since her 2005 album "My Swedish Heart". He also featured on her last recording "Letters to Herbie" – the album was a tribute to pianist Herbie Hancock. Karlzon himself already released his first album as a band leader in 1992. "More" is his sixth album. He also participated in the production of around 40 more recordings. Alongside his collaboration with Viktoria Tolstoy he played with Billy Cobham, Kenny Wheeler, Tim Hagans, Jeff Ballard, Cæcilie Norby, Nils Landgren and many more. In the course of his career Karlzon has received many distinguished awards. In 1997 he was awarded the "Jazz in Sweden Award" and considered the newcomer of the year by Swedish radio. In 2010 he received the renowned French jazz award "Django d'Or".

less

Gabriel Fauré

Gabriel Fauré was a French Romantic composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th-century composers. Among his best-known works are his Pavane, Requiem, Nocturnes for piano and the songs Après un rêve and Clair de lune. Although his best-known and most accessible compositions are generally his earlier ones, Fauré composed many of his most highly regarded works in his later years, in a more harmonically and melodically complex style. Fauré's music has been described as linking the end of Romanticism with the modernism of the second quarter of the 20th century. When he was born, Chopin was still composing, and by the time of Fauré's death,...
more
Gabriel Fauré was a French Romantic composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th-century composers. Among his best-known works are his Pavane, Requiem, Nocturnes for piano and the songs Après un rêve and Clair de lune. Although his best-known and most accessible compositions are generally his earlier ones, Fauré composed many of his most highly regarded works in his later years, in a more harmonically and melodically complex style.
Fauré's music has been described as linking the end of Romanticism with the modernism of the second quarter of the 20th century. When he was born, Chopin was still composing, and by the time of Fauré's death, jazz and the atonal music of the Second Viennese School were being heard. During the last twenty years of his life, he suffered from increasing deafness. In contrast with the charm of his earlier music, his works from this period are sometimes elusive and withdrawn in character, and at other times turbulent and impassioned.

less

Press

Play album Play album

You might also like..

Butterfly Effect
Lindgren & Beasley
DUO
Michael Wollny & Joachim Kühn
Passacaglia
Adam Bałdych & Leszek Możdżer
Christmas With My Friends VIII
Nils Landgren
Christmas With My Friends VIII (vinyl)
Nils Landgren
Magic Moments 16 „In the Spirit of Jazz“
Various Artists
Soul to Jazz - 3-LP-Set
Bernard Purdie
Les Métanuits
Emile Parisien | Roberto Negro
Les Métanuits (vinyl)
Emile Parisien | Roberto Negro
Where You Wish You Were
Bill Laurance & Michael League
Where You Wish You Were (vinyl)
Bill Laurance & Michael League
3 Generations
Nils Landgren