Writer's note: Music writing is an avocation. It is not what I do for a living. It exists as that undertaking I do for the satisfaction of possibly educating others about this single essential art. But the reality is I have less and less time to write. As a result, I am limiting my writing to two Bailey's Bundles" submitted monthly: my current Jazz Quanta" addressing instrumental music and now my Jazz Vocals" capturing my thoughts on vocal jazz. These will serve as my main outlets for writing. I will continue to write full reviews, particularly of music related books, ...read more
Swiss singer/composer/producer Beat Kaestli has four recordings as a leader since 2002. All are intelligently focused. Reasons (B&B Productions, 2002), Happy, Sad, and Satisfied (B&B Productions, 2005), Far from Home: A Tribute of European Song (B&B Productions, 2009) and Invitation (Chesky, 2010). Far From Home and Invitation are the most sharply focused, the former addressing European song and the later, the American Songbook. Kaestli possesses a sublimely sweet voice, one that Chet Baker would have coveted. But that is old news. Collage, Kaestli's fifth recording is released and it is a different animal entirely. The singer recorded these songs in ...read more
Meet Beat Kaestli: Beat Kaestli is a Swiss vocalist, songwriter, arranger and producer. When faced with the choice of a promising singing career in his homeland or broadening his musical horizon in the US, he decided to make New York City his new home. While honing his craft alongside noteworthy jazz performers, such as Jane Monheit, Jason Moran and Stefon Harris, he immersed himself in Manhattan's fiercely competitive music scene, emerging as a seasoned performer. He is now touring the world and appears in clubs such as The Blue Note, Birdland and The Jazz Standard, performing with jazz greats like ...read more
First, there is the name: Beat Kaestli. How hip is that? A native of Switzerland, Kaestli moved to New York, where he was suitably educated in the craft of jazz at the Manhattan School of Music, and ultimately, the Aaron Copland School of Music. Kaestli has a voice of uncommon sweetness and delicacy that is, atthe same time, durable and trustworthy. He sings as Chet Baker would have, had he had a soul inhabiting that desiccated shell of his. Like the best speakers and narrators, Kaestli possesses a unique voice, seasoned with a slight imperfection, an inter-dental ...read more
The Great American Songbook is something of a repertoire Bible for jazz vocalists, regardless of whether or not they originally hail from America. Vocalist Beat Kaestli was born in Switzerland, but he made New York his home after arriving to attend the Manhattan School of Music in the early 1990s. Since that time, his music has touched on everything from gospel and R&B to musical theater, but he has really narrowed his focus to jazz since his exploration of standards on Happy, Sad And Satisfied (B&B Productions, 2005). The follow-up, Far From Home (B&B Productions, 2009), touched on European songwriters, ...read more
Happy, Sad and Satisfied is the very nice second album by Swiss-born and New York-based singer Beat Kaestli, who boasts a pleasant tenor voice, impeccable diction and pitch, and a real rhythmic flair.
His arrangements are also very impressive. Summertime" is presented starkly, with with only congas and Fender Rhodes accompaniment. Starting very slowly, Kaestli and company unexpectedly go into double time at the end. An up-tempo You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To" features a harmonically adventurous tenor sax solo, but the liner notes do not indicate whether it was by Joel Frahm or Lance Murphy. ...read more
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