Those with a taste for sparse, restrained, melodic Nordic jazz, with a smidgeon of seasonal flavour, may enjoy the new release by Bröderna Johansson: Stilla Jul. (It’s on Spotify). Traditional Swedish Xmas favourites with just piano and double bass played by Anders and Jens Johansson, two metal musicians who are more commonly seen in the heavy company of the likes of AW favourite, Yngve Malmsteen. They are the sons of the late, very great jazz pianist, Jan Johansson, who died tragically young in a car crash in 1968. Their dad would have certainly enjoyed their new album where they breathe new life into his gentle legacy rather than indulging in high volume noodling.
It is Santa Lucia here today in Sweden and you can’t move for small children dressed as Lucias, elves, gingerbread men and starboys. What a very odd affair it is too. A strange mixture of pagan Midwinter celebration, beauty contest and Ku Klux Klan rally. I love it!
A Lucia procession is best experienced outdoors early in the morning in several inches of snow. I celebrated once indoors at the Finance Ministry: gourmet biccies and top notch glögg but I missed the shiver of frosty, Asgardian magic.
I don’t doubt that Locust and Neela have vivid memories of dressing up in a white nighty with candles in their hair. It all has to be seen to be believed. (see comments).