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Artist Profiles

Saskia Laroo: A New Jazz Goddess

By Published: February 3, 2004
Another wonderful coup d’?tat she has accomplished is to have as a guest artiste, the venerable Mr. Ernie Andrews, a blues singer with the voice of John Lee Hooker [many friends tell me he sounds like Lou Rawls, with that grainy character giving his voice a rasping quality tough into to cut through inches of steel!] Well, some jazz critics like Dr. Billy Taylor have rightly described Ernie Andrews as “The Best Kept Secret In Jazz today”. Andrews moved in good company from the start because his schoolmates LA's Jefferson High School included Dexter Gordon, Charles Mingus, Sonny Criss, Teddy Edwards and Eric Dolphy. That’s pretty cool company, by any means!

In the album Jazzkia, the immortal classic “Perdido” from the pens of Tizol, Lengsfelder and Drake well illustrates how well-knit the group of Saskia and her highly evolved musician friends can be... An amazingly well laid out virtual feast for the ears. Teddy Edwards tells us something interesting, the fact that some luminaries and peers of Saskia have expressed their respects to her—the list is impressive: Freddie Hubbard, Wynton Marsalis, Marcus Printup, Jon Faddis, Riley Mullins...

Critics have freely lavished her with an abundance of gooey compliments that jazz writers seem to be drooling at the mouth when describing her looks, her presence on the stage, and her enviable command over several diverse styles of playing jazz and other modern idioms. Saskia thus demands to be placed on a high pedestal, and all those reverent looks that cloud every face in every conceivable audience around the world, make mincemeat out of the niggling doubt about her being or not being a Jazz Goddess. Period.

Till next time then, Ciao—have fun and write to me.

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