In my humble estimation, there are two ballad singers (living) without peer: Rebecca Parris and Beat Kaestli. The latter has had a string of recent recordings that are as innovative as they are entertaining, including: Happy, Sad And Satisfied (B&B Productions, 2005), Invitation (Chesky Records, 2010), andCollage (B&B Productions, 2014).
Kaestli sneaks a live recording in on us: Live in Europe where he performs with a trio lead by pianist Walter Fischbacher (musical and life partner of vocalist Elizabeth Lohninger, both close associates of Kaestli's). Kaestli's European repertoire is plentiful in his trademark ballad singing with the addition of the contemporary pop of the Eurythmics' "Here Comes the Rain Again," which melds sonically in medley with "Missing" both folded into a seamless samba. Central to this performance is a scintillating "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise," which is introduced gently with an angular Petr Dvorsky bass solo. A ballad typically tethered to tempo harmonically, Kaestli and Fischbacher liberate the melody giving it free-floating flight. The tempo almost too slow is nevertheless perfect for the exposition. The performances exists as evidence of Kaestli's command of the genre.
Track Listing: Day in Day out; Conflicted; Missing/Here Comes the Rain Again;
Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise; That's All; Why Should I Pretend;
The Choice You Make/Choice de Vie; What are You Doing the Rest of
Your Life; Body and Soul.
Personnel: Beat Kaestli: voice; Walter Fischbacher: piano; Petr Dvorsky: bass;
Andreas Winter: drums.
I was first exposed to jazz by my father, who was a rabid fan when he was younger, in the early to mid 1950's. We lived in NYC and he was a regular at places like the Village Vanguard and Birdland. One of his favorite stories involved meeting Charlie Parker and Miles on 52nd St
I was first exposed to jazz by my father, who was a rabid fan when he was younger, in the early to mid 1950's. We lived in NYC and he was a regular at places like the Village Vanguard and Birdland. One of his favorite stories involved meeting Charlie Parker and Miles on 52nd St. Needless to say, Jazz and Blues were always on the stereo in our home. I was steeped in these exciting sounds, and they make up some of my earliest memories.