My Swedish Heart

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Bengt-Arne Wallin,Jan Johansson,Lars Gullin
LABELS: ACT
PERFORMER: Viktoria Tolstoy (vocals)
CATALOGUE NO: 9705-2

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I was unmoved by the glacial homogeneity of Viktoria Tolstoy’s debut album for ACT, Shining on You, but this is a much better idea. Sweden adopted jazz with enthusiasm in the 1950s and since then has produced a splendidly unruly mob of world-class composers and performers. This album is essentially a one-woman tribute to this tradition, drawing on the works of Jan Johansson, Bengt-Arne Wallin, Lars Gullin and many others.

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The result is a pleasingly diverse collection of stuff that allows the singer plenty of room to manoeuvre in the context of some expert arrangements. All that said, hers is an articulate, almost measured voice, but the careful choice of material, which ranges from folk-derived ballads to insistent swing, ensures that she’s able to give of her best. The performances are sound and the recording is of the label’s usual high standard. Roger Thomas