From Sweden To Canada (Music Thoughts: From This Side, Johanna Sillanpaa)

Johanna Sillanpaa - From This Side (2017)Is it a good thing that every time I turn around I see a new jazz vocal album being released? Or is it because it’s much easier nowadays to make one, some even done at home? I don’t mean to minimize albums nowadays or referring to what I am writing about now, but just musing…

Calgary-based Johanna Silanpaa has a new album called ‘From This Side.’  I wondered where her name came from, so I googled her and found that she was born in Sweden, and I  thought it all makes sense now. The Swedish love jazz.

And she has a sweet voice that makes a nice counterpoint to the swinging arrangements here. When I saw that about half of the album were her originals, I secretly groaned. But you know what? They’re not bad, although I would probably have to listen to the songs more to fully appreciate them.  For me, she soars when she sings standards. She nails the irony in ‘Everything I’ve Go Belongs To You’ and the joy in ‘Blue Skies.’ I will definitely look for he next foray.

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