Tag Archives: Mattias Nilsson


Beauty is a universal language.  It flourishes in our hearts.  So the fact that I and some JAZZ LIVES readers speak no Swedish will not impede anyone’s enjoyment of the soaring improvisations that follow.  And in these videos, a patient viewer will find in the introduction to #2 all the mysteries of song #1.  Trust me on this.

I had not heard of the singer Anna Pauline Andersson or her fiance, pianist Mattias Nilsson, before March 2012.  But when a friend told me they were coming to the United States for the first time — with plans for a free duet recital at the Church of Sweden in New York City — I became intrigued.  And when I saw their performances on YouTube, I was seriously impressed and moved.  Thus, on March 28, 2012, I and my video camera were in a place not usual for us — recording wondrous music, secular and sacred, all illuminated by the same delight in beauty and in communicating that beauty to us.  Anna Pauline’s voice caresses and soars; Mattias’ piano glitters and investigates.

They began the program with the melancholy Swedish folksong, EMMIGRANTVISA (VI SÅLDE VÅRAN HEMMAN), or SONG OF THE IMMIGRANTS, which describes the hard journey the Swedes had to undergo to get to New York.  Jung would have been pleased that some of the cadences coming out of the collective unconscious sound like ST. JAMES INFIRMARY:

Then, Evert Taube’s 1946 song describing the ocean (a natural thematic connection), SÅ SKIMRANDE VAR ALDRIG HAVET, which Anna Pauline translated as SUCH GLITTERING SEA:

In case the English-only types in the audience were getting restless, Anna and Mattias then turned to a song to celebrate what is their first visit to New York City — the lovely 1925 Rodgers and Hart MANHATTAN, performed with a proper urban lilt and humor:

From one classic to another: STAR DUST, sung and played with great empathy, making the most familiar song new:

LILLA IDAS SOMMARVISA is a  more recent Swedish song by Georg Riedel and Astrid Lindgren, from a 1973 film.  Anna Pauline remade its title into THE SUMMER SONG OF IDA — its message is clear in any language:

Anna didn’t treat the next song as a hymn, but Ellington’s I’M BEGINNING TO SEE THE LIGHT could have gotten in on its title alone:

Another version of exultation, sly and whimsical — TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE:

JAG HAR BOTT VID EN LANDSVÄG, written by Alvar Kraft and Charles Henry (pseud Karl Henrik Henrud) in 1939 — a song from the south of Sweden, where, Anna Pauline tells us, “the people are happy and voluptuous”; I believe the title translates to I GREW UP NEAR A COUNTRY ROAD:

BLOTT EN DAG, the Swedish hymn, (DAY BY DAY AND WITH EACH PASSING MOMENT), by Oscar Ahnfelt and Lina Sandell (1872):

I´LL FLY AWAY, by Albert E. Brumley (1929)

and the 1913 JAG VANTAR VID MIN MILA, which translates as I’M WAITING FOR A WANDERER:

And, as an encore (after Mattias’ confession!) there’s the 1956 jazz tune UNDERBART ÄR KORT, by Povel Ramel: its title translates to THE GOOD THINGS ARE TOO SHORT, which was true of this concert:

Thanks to Anna Pauline and Mattias, to Jack Anderssen, to Laurie Whitlock, and Eva Engman.  And although I don’t usually find myself in churches, this one is a beauty and everyone I encountered was more than gracious.

May your happiness increase.


Who are Anna and Mattias?

Anna Pauline Andersson is a fine light-hearted singer; Mattias Nilsson is her pianist and future husband.  They will be giving a free concert on Wednesday, March 28, 2012, at the Swedish Church — starting at 7 PM.  Anna thinks there will even be a small gathering / reception afterwards where people can mingle and perhaps buy her debut record.

The church is located at 5 East 48th Street, New York, New York 10017 — and its website is  http://www.svenskakyrkan.se/default.aspx?id=546526 — I hope your Swedish is better than mine, though.  But you can figure this out:


Onsdag den 28 mars kl. 19.00. Anna Pauline Andersson och Mattias Nilsson bjuder på en duo-jazzkonsert med utgångspunkt i den svenska viskulturen, i psalmer och folksånger. Här blandas svensk, traditionell musik med traditionella jazzstandards ur The American Songbook. Reception efteråt. Välkommen!

Anna tells me, “The concert we are giving is called (translated from Swedish) “Dual Traditions – The Meeting of Two Traditions,” where we combine Swedish folk songs and hymns with American traditional standards and hymns.  The duration of the concert is 1 hour.  So there will be both pretty, happy and swinging melodies as well as more traditional folk songs with a ‘hint’ of melancholy, which is so typical for Swedish folk music.”

Here is a video clip of Anna in performance — from Day to Night — with ISN’T THIS A LOVELY DAY into MOONLIGHT IN VERMONT.  Mattias is on piano; Lasse Lundstrom, string bass; Jonas Holgersson, drums:

And here is Mattias, exploring BLOTT EN DAG (DAY BY DAY):


Mattias’s website is www.mattiasnilsson.com and it is full of good music!

I think that we should welcome this most musical young couple to New York City.  Don’t you?

May your happiness increase.