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Radka Toneff

Country of origin:


Type of music generally:



Radka Toneff died in 1982.

See also:

Wikipedia's entry for Radka Toneff


Overall sound a little like early Holly Cole

Covers/own material:


General comments:

One of the most talented Jazz artists Norway has ever had. So sad she died so early. Radka Toneff was 30 years old when she died. Jazz musician, singer, piano player and composer, she started to study the piano at the age of seven from Hans Solum and later she finished her study at the Concervatorium of Music in Oslo.
     In 1976 she started her own quintet together with A. Anderson (Bass, people might know of him because he has played in the U.S.), J. Eberson (guitar), J. Balke (piano) and E. Rud (drums, percussion). They played at Molde International Jazz Festival and did a TV show.
     In 1978, she performed on Swedish TV and at some Swedish festivals.
     In 1979, she performed at Malmoe, Sweden and Montmartre, Copenhagen, released the album It don't come easy.
     In 1982, a long working relationship with the Swedish-American piano player Steve Dobrogosz resulted in the quiet album Fairytales. The same year she got an award for her work as leader of the Norwegian jazz society.
     She lived a short life but she will be remembered for what she did both musically and for the Jazz itself. Her musical work is just beyond words. If you see one of her albums and you are interested in jazz—get it quick! (

Recommended first album:

Live in Hamburg

Recordings include:

  • Winter Poem (1977)
  • It don't come easy (1979)
  • Fairytales (1982)
  • Live in Hamburg (1992)
  • Some Time Ago—A Collection Of Her Finest Moments (compilation, 2003)
  • Set It Free—Et Portrett Av Radka Toneff (compilation, 2008)
  • Butterfly (compilation, 2008)

Live in Hamburg

Release info:

1992—Odin Records, Norway—Odin NJ 4044-2



Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for jazz fans

Group members:

Radka Toneff—vocals

Guest artists:

Steve Dobrogosz—piano
Arild Andersen—bass
Alex Riel—drums

Produced by:

Michael Naura


Recorded in 1981.

If you're a fan of mainstream jazz, you will love this. Her vocal interpretation is great and she has a voice that she uses perfectly for this type of music. This does displays a range of songs from Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman", Bob Dylan's "Just Like a Woman", the traditional "Bulgarian Folksong" to the Latin rhythms of "Havana Candy". (Neile)

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2015-10-03 14:40:32.
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