Reviews

English / Swedish

All About Jazz January 2015

CD review
Curiosity

"Vivian Buczek is blessed with a glorious voice—warm, emotional, engaging—and a talent for sophisticated interpretations of established but not over-worked songs. Curiosity, the Swedish singer's fifth album, places her in the company of a piano trio led by the excellent pianist and arranger Martin Sjöstedt. It's company she clearly relishes and in which she shines brightly."

Read all

Dalademokraten 2014

Concert review

TOP-CLASS JAZZ WITH BUCZEK

As very few can, she commands the stage and does it in a way that feels completely natural. She is confident in what she does and how she does it and seems to have mastered every aspect of jazz singing. When she sings wordless like an instrument or when the words come quickly in fast tempo her articulation and phrasing are fantastic and she demonstrates that she is a vocal equilibrist of class.

Martin Sjöstedt is an ambitious pianist with a great feeling for the music and instinctive to the requirements of support for a vocalist. Niklas Fernqvist contributes some fine bass lines in his relaxed and laid-back style. Johan Löfcrantz Ramsay is, as always, his usual dependable self behind the drums. It is an experience both to see and hear him take advantage of all the possibilities a drum kit offers in the self-assured way he does. It is a trio that can stand on its own, which can be seen clearly when Vivian is not singing. This is a show of high-class music and song.

Lennart Götesson

Borås Tidning 2014

Concert review

I COULDN´T BELIEVE MY EARS

After having heard her, all that remains is to wish her the best of fortune on the road ahead. On this night she demonstrated to us examples of the best sides of the genre, perfect intonation, powerful swing and lyrical elegance.

Vivian now has the perfect musical association in the latest recipient of the Jan Johansson scholarship, pianist Martin Sjöstedt, a musical phenomenon with total technical command, Niklas Fernqvist on bass and Johan Löfcrantz Ramsay on drums, all three in perfect coordination with each other and Vivian. It was a truly memorable evening, and as regards the singing, it was comparable with hearing Monica Zetterlund for the first time. A fantastic career has begun!

Rolf Haglund

Bohuslänningen 2014

Concert review

A SMILING BUCZEK BROUGHT WARMTH TO THE AUDIENCE

Vivian Buczek has sung with such greats as Bengt Hallberg and she has a natural and relaxed presence on stage that radiates joy and love of the music. Martin Sjöstedt on piano and Fender Rhodes played excellently together with Buczek, with the songs on which he played Rhodes suiting Buczek’s voice particularly well.

The material that the group performed was often in the form of interesting arrangements, amongst others we heard a memorable version of ”Cherokee” with a groove-feel imaginatively arranged by Sjöstedt. Buczek sang Chick Corea’s composition ”You’re Everything” with great precision and what a delight it was to hear her perform this challenging choice of song.

Sunniva Brynnel

All About Jazz November 2012

CD review
Live at the Palladium

"Buczek's a joy to hear; lively, energetic and in tune with the stories these songs are telling, she also shows a willingness to test her own abilities, even in this live setting, with some tricky tempos and changes. Her talent shines brightest on her version of Billy Strayhorn's glorious "Lush Life." Her performance shows a superb combination of technical skill, range and a sensibility that brings the lyric to life—all with spare, sensitive accompaniment from the excellent Crona. Buczek and Asplund's ambitious arrangement of Johnny Mandel and Paul Francis Webster's "A Time For Love" runs a close second; the singer and musicians meet its challenges with great success, from Backenroth and Buczek's interplay to Asplund's trumpet solo."

Read all

All About Jazz June 2012

CD review
Artistry Jazz Group and Friends: Tribute!

"Vocalist Vivian Buczek is a revelation, displaying full-fledged confidence and a maturity only hinted at in her previous recordings with the group. She performs great versions of Harold Arlen's bittersweet "Last Night When We Were Young" and George Gershwin's "Changing My Tune," switches with consummate ease from Queen of Cool June Christy to Judy Garland, albeit singing the best, bluesiest song in Garland's book, "The Man That Got Away," written by Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin for the 1954 film A Star Is Born.

Buczek does her best with the rather dated "back to nature" lyrics of Lindberg and Mitchell's "As You Are" and turns in a fine wordless vocal on "Undercurrent Blues," by Chico O'Farrill—whose arrangements ushered King of Swing Benny Goodman, somewhat unwillingly, into the bebop era. She also chooses the closer, going for Miles Davis' "Boplicity" and handling Ray Passman and Holli Ross' high-speed "Bebop Lives" lyrics with great aplomb."

Read all

Gefle Dagblad October 2011

Concert review
Vivian Buczek and Peter Asplund with Claes Crona Trio

"Charming and straightforward she showed up with a hyper genuine jazz repertoire, which showed substantial jazz skills. Cool and delicate she was backed by pianist Claes Crona band where the bassist Hans Backenroth and drummer Johan Löfcrantz Ramsay gave the best of assistance. With fine phrasing associated with rhythmic brilliance, she created a great atmosphere. In Vivian's repertoire was noted jazz classics of the class.

Trumpeter Peter Asplund shaped as usual solos of the highest caliber. The trumpet had a shimmering rigor in every detail. He is flexible and can adapt many of the jazz environments. Peter is masterful.

Claes is an experienced pianist, both solo as companions behind the soloists. He has the experience to hold together a creative accompaniment to inspire his team-mates. This was a night of great artistic potency."

Göran Olsson

Sydsvenskan October 2011

Concert review
Vivian Buczek and Peter Asplund with Claes Crona Trio

"There is no doubt about it! Vivian Buczek is currently one of our country's finest jazz singers. The sky is the limit, which showed with all possible clarity on Monday evening, when she did a concert at the Palladium in Malmö with Golden Disc-winning trumpeter Peter Asplund and Claes Crona´s excellent and very swinging trio. Not only is Vivian now a complete jazz singer technically, with good vocal range, a personal and excellent phrasing and timing and rhythm far beyond the ordinary, both in the ballads as in faster pace. She also has a charisma and stage presence that only our greatest artists in the industry can compete with.

Her interpretation of Gigi Gryces bebop classics "Social Call" and Thelonious Monk´s "Well you Needn't" is something you will not forget in a hurry, as well as her version of Billy Strayhorn´s infinitely beautiful and tricky "Lush Life" which she performed accompanied by Claes Crona´s sensitive piano playing. Many singers have failed on this particular composition over the years. However, not Vivian Buczek.

eter Asplund supplemented Vivian's vocals perfectly. Both with brilliant trumpet playing and the occasional vocal performance with a taste of Mel Tormé. His trumpet solo on Johnny Mandel's gorgeous ballad "A Time For Love" was by it self worth the entrance.

Claes Crona, once Putte Wickman's piano favorite, of course, did not disappoint. His responsiveness and rhythmic talent triumphed in a steady stream and tandem pair Backenroth-Löfcrantz Ramsay is probably the best and most stable that can be found in our part of the world."

Jan Olsson

All About Jazz September 2011

CD review
Dedication to my giants

"It's an impressive and enjoyable album. Buczek establishes herself as a talented jazz singer, and a strong interpreter of ballads, with an ear for an intriguing mix of songs. Her work deserves to be known more widely."

Read all

Jazz Forum 2010

CD review (in Polish)
Dedication to my giants

"To jedna z najciekawszych plyt wokalnych, jakie slyszalem w tym roku!"

Read all

Jazz Journal November 2010

CD review
Artistry Jazz Group: We like Previn

"In terms of his mastery of so many disparate musical areas, Andre Previn ranks with Duke Ellington. Not only did he score a host of musicals, conduct symphony orchestras and lead some of the most successful jazz trios of the 1960s, he also wrote numerous tunes in the great American Songbook tradition. And a goodly selection of those melodies are reprised here by a fine Scandinavian quartet piloted by that exemplary Swedish jazz pianist Jan Lundgren, who also arranged the material in imaginative fashion.

A number of the 14 Previn tunes offered – Guiding Light is by debut producer Torgil Rosenberg – have gained standard currency, notably You're Gonna Hear From Me, I Like Myself, Theme From Valley Of The Dolls and The Pleasure Of Your Company, a collaboration with Johnny Mercer. Other songs aired by the quartet certainly deserve to be better known. They simply underline that whatever the assignment, Previn never gave it perfunctory treatment. Recorded a couple of months after Andre's 80th birthday, this set does justice to his songwriting talent, while Lundgren shows his obvious regard for the maestro's pianistic acumen with some typical touches. All the instrumentals are nicely interpreted. On four selections the quartet is expanded by Polish vocalist Vivian Buczek, a graduate of Malmo Academy of Music. Her diction is excellent, she swings and makes a good fist of bop scatting on the closing track.

This is a satisfying tribute to a true prodigy and a lifelong major artist, whose work bestrides the Hollywood, Broadway, jazz and classical idioms. Incidentally, he has also been a prolific genius at crafting background movie music. It was, for example, his magnificent score which helped to raise the unbearable tension in that memorable thriller, Bad Day At Black Rock.

The CD comes with a well produced and most informative booklet covering Previn's career in detail and with biographies of the musicians and helpful annotations on the tunes. The group's next project will be a programme of Cole Porter's music which should be well worth waiting for."

Mark Gardner

Sundsvalls Tidning January 2010

CD review
Dedication to my giants

"The Swedish vocal jazz has a new leading lady in the form of Vivian Buczek. If nothing unforeseen occurs, she will long time to come to the forefront of our jazz singers. She has everything needed to sing jazz; phrasing ability, articulation, sense of timing and rhythm with humor and glimmer in her eye. Here on the new album she sings classic jazz opus such as Joy Spring, What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?, All The Way, Whisper Not, Nica's Dream with a number of fresh new arrangements. Together with unfailing Claes Crona Trio, Vivian has made a full score album, which I warmly recommend."

Hans-Erik Bergman

Liner Notes
Dedication to my giants

"Vivian Buczek is one of the bravest female jazz singers I know. She is also one of the most humble and talented. When she chose the repertoire for this album, her third, she did not look in the Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan songbook. That would have been too easy and too undemanding. Instead she searched for songs associated with instrumentalists, people like Clifford Brown, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Horace Silver and Benny Golson. Those are some of the great individuals Vivian call her GIANTS.

I have no intention at all to review Vivian´s album. It is, of course, up to you to judge for yourselves. But there are some things I want to point out, so you don´t miss them. For instance Vivian´s absolutely unaffected and natural way of singing even quite complex and unorthodox songs."

Jan Olsson

Read more and buy the album here

DIG Jazz September 2009

CD review
Dedication to my giants

"All over Sweden singers are cropping up and finding their way to jazz. Many have unfortunately become side-tracked, but here we have a very welcome exception. Vivian Buczek is a name to remember, be sure. With tunes associated with great improvisers and composers; with English and Swedish lyrics in her luggage. The tunes which John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Benny Golson, Horace Silver, Bill Evans, Quincy Jones and Clifford Brown used to turn inside out. A great accompaniment by the pianist Claes Crona gives her a framework that truly unifies the disc's contents.

Vivian's wonderful jazz feeling is present in originals such as Joy Spring, Four, Whisper Not, Nica's Dream, My Shining Hour, Very Early and Stockholm Sweetnin' as well as Michel Legrand's compositions "What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life? and How Do You Keep The Music Playing? All in a repertoire that makes me rejoice."

Göran Olsson

Orkester Journalen September 2009

CD review
Dedication to my giants

"It's about love! And joy and to dare! Vivian exudes a wonderful jazz sense and is worthy of all attention. This well produced album highlights jazzmusic. Not lagging, but unleashing jazz if you like.

Once you love is a composition by Vivian and her father and it suites well among the other champions. So does Claes Crona's composition "Didima" with lyrics by Vivian. Now, I think it's up to you to browse among the songs. I promise you a pleasant listening!"

Lars Seger

Sundsvalls Dagblad 2009

Concert review
Vivian Buczek and Claes Crona Trio

"Her performance of "What are you doing the rest of your life " with excellent piano accompaniament of Claes Crona was this evenings the most exciting number. No neighbors clatter with the ice in the glass was noticeable. A more condensed atmosphere has never been experienced in Monday Jazz events long history."

Björn Berge