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VIKTORIA TOLSTOY

Meet Me At The Movies

ACT 9827 - 2


 

  1. Calling You

  2. As Time Goes By

  3. En Man [Marlowe's Theme]

  4. Out Here On My Own

  5. Why Should I Care

  6. The Book Of Love

  7. Love Song For A Vampire

  8. Kiss From A Rose

  9. Angel

  10. New World

  11. Smile

    Viktoria Tolstoy - Vocals

    Krister Jonsson - Guitars

    Mattias Svensson - Electric bass, acoustic bass

    Rasmus Kihlberg - Drums

    Special guests :

    Iiro Rantala - Piano

    Nils Landgren - Trombone, vocals

    The Swedish singer Viktoria Tolstoy actually has Russian ancestry. Her great-great-grandfather was the writer and novelist Leo Tolstoy. She recorded her first album at the age of only 20, in 1994. Her voice can encompass pop music, jazz and soul. A long-time lover of the cinema, her latest disc for ACT reflects that enthusiasm for the movies. She has opted for a guitar trio rather than an orchestra to accompany her, believing that it would give her the freedom to be more herself. Also present on the recording is the exceptional Finnish pianist, Iiro Rantala, and Viktoria's fellow-countryman and master of the trombone, Nils Landgren. In her choice of material Tolstoy has resisted the obvious, for the most part, and gone for less familiar songs. The CD is all the better for that decision.

    One of the finest tracks is En Man [ Marlowe's Theme] from the film Farewell My Lovely . The tune has been given Swedish lyrics. Tolstoy is sultry, Rantala imaginative in his improvisation, and the result is truly satisfying. Out Here On My Own has a late-night flavour about it and, as Tolstoy has shown on previous recordings, she can deliver a lyric with the best of them! Kiss From A Rose is another stand-out. Viktoria gives it both power and direction, ably supported by her guitar trio. On more familiar ground, As Time Goes By features a relaxed, articulate performance from Tolstoy's soul-inflected voice. Rantala contributes a splendid solo. By the way, the CD cover photo of the singer manages to look remarkably like the young Ingrid Bergmann, the star of Casablanca, the film from which the song comes, of course. As for that poignant standard, Smile, Chaplin's tune is beautifully handled by Tolstoy, accompanied sensitively on guitar. On the album's opening track, Calling You, the inimitable Nils Landgren can be heard on trombone, smooth and elegant, as Viktoria illustrates the strength, clarity and range of her voice. Her supporting musicians provide just what is needed throughout. I must say, however, I was particularly taken by the guitarist Krister Jonsson, a name new to me. This is a versatile musician, perhaps especially noteworthy on the ballad, Why Should I Care and on Angel, a track with a Country and Western feel. It seems, though, that he can play in any style.

    All in all, this is a highly listenable collection which reminds us of the importance of music in enhancing our appreciation of the cinema. Viktoria Tolstoy and her group have delivered a fitting tribute to a varied and intriguing selection.

    James Poore



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