Friday, 11 May 2012

Ida Sand, A Great Vocalist from Sweden

I should start by saying that when I have decided to write about my favourite Sweden vocalist Ida Sand, I know that I can write tens of pages about her great voice, perfect vocal technique, piano playing and wonderful albums full of great compositions and covers. However for the readers to stay focused I had to prevent myself from writing too much.

I have met Ida Sand just after her first concert in İKSV Salon in İstanbul, whose acoustic design is among the ones I love most. No need to say, the concert was wonderful as I have expected. Trust me, there is nothing to say or review, everything was literally perfect. Ida was energetic and gave all of it to us. The playlist was carefully decided, the musicians were in a perfect harmony and Ida's well-known strong and deep vocal caught everybody in the hall. We also had the chance to listen to Turkish drummer Mehmet İkiz living in Sweden in the concert and I liked it very much. He became an important musician in Sweden Jazz scene. Being a follower of Ida Sand for nearly 4 years, I must admit that I was very nervous during the 10 minutes meeting. I have been calmer when I met Steve Coleman, John Scofield, Christian McBride, Marcus Miller… even Herbie Hancock. The reason why I feel such at that night, I think, is my musical connection to that voice and those specially selected, composed or arranged songs in her albums. Although I am a main stream jazz listener, I have a certain teenage period of listening several rock, soul and pop albums, which stil visits my music corner at home from time to time. Ida Sand’s albums actually can be classified in vocal jazz , soul, gospel, blues, even funk, but more than that in each of them Ida caught me in a different way with her strong, deep, solid and unique vocal which is in a real harmony with her piano playing.

It was summer of 2008 that I have first listened to her in “Meet Me Around Midnight” (ACT  9518-2), Ida Sand’s debut album released in 2007 from a great record company ACT. (I strongly recommend that if you see an ACT record of a Swedish musician, buy it! They know everything about good music.) I still remember the moment that I’ve heard the most wonderful entrance to a vocal album ever that says “I don’t want no opera, no cha cha, no mambo…  Mr. Pianoman play me down on some Blues”.  My amplifier volume has been set to a considerably high value mistakenly, however within the first second I catched myself looking to the center of my two speakers with amusement and did not touch the volume knob anymore to the end of the album. Everything started there, I became a fan of Ida Sand, the owner of one of the most sophisticated and strong voices I’ve ever heard.

Later on, I have learned that  one of her first performances is in Nils Landgren’s “Christmas with my Friends” album (ACT  9454-2), 2007. It took little time for me to find “Christmas with my Friends” album of Nils Landgren, who is my funk hero from Sweden, (confession) just to listen to Ida Sand. You can also find the DVD of this record (ACTDVD 9901-9). Additionally you can buy The Jubilee Album: 20 Magic Years (ACT 9570-2) and Magic Nordic Voices (ACT 9718-2) compilations and Upgraded in Gothenburg (ACT 9488-2), Christmas with my Friends II (ACT 9476-2) and Licence To Funk (ACT 9455-2) albums in which Ida Sand is a guest appearance.

Fortunately, Ida Sand released her second album in 2009 with the name “True Love” (ACT  9418-2) and third album in 2011 with the name “The Gospel Truth” (ACT 9716-2). There are compositions of Ida Sand in the albums as well as very nice covers and arrangements. We learned in the album Gospel Truth that Ida Sand has a gospel background and deeply affected by Mahalia Jackson. There are wonderful musicians in the album accompanying Ida Sand. Nils Landgren, Jan Lundgren, Ulf Wakenius, Lars Danilesson, Magnus Lindgren and Joe Sample are among them. The short review: The albums are awesome.  However, these albums deserved to be reviewed in detail and I will do that in other three posts followed by this one, before that I want to give some biographical info:

Ida Sand is born in 1977 as a child of an opera singer father and a church musician mother. She started cello at the age of 8, then interested in piano. She continued her education in “Music Gymnasium in Stockholm” and “Academy of Music in Gothenburg”. Before releasing solo albums she sang and played with Christian Waltz, Stephen Simmonds, Carola, Lisa Nilsson, Eric Gadd, Bo Kaspers, Jerry Williams, Uno Svenningsson, Jennifer Brown and Nils Landgren. She is married Ola Gustaffson, who is an important guitarist from Sweden Rock scene (he has a wonderful lap steel guitar technique to be seen. He is the producer of the second album “True Love” with his wife and played the guitars of some songs in “True Love”). Ida and Ola have two beatiful daughters.

Read my other blogs about her albums:

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