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Great songwriters are not always great singers. While Soesja Citroen has the ability to create a sense of intimacy with her voice, it is not a great instrument. Her songs however, are captivating.
Citroen struggles with intonation and pitch. Her shortcomings are most obvious when she stays in her upper register, which is thin and often shrill. Despite her inadequacies as a vocalist, Citroen tells these stories expertly and evocatively. She is, after all, in the unique position of knowing who the characters in her stories really are. The ballads "Love Can't Be All Fun and "Last September are fine examples of Citroen's best storytelling. Tucked among the thoughtful ballads is the cute novelty tune "Song for You, which would be at home in a Blossom Dearie's set at Danny's Skylight Room.
"The Samba Calls affords the opportunity for pianist Berend van den Berg and bassist Ruud Ouwenhand a chance to stretch out a little bit on a rhythmic yet moody interlude. They provide capable, gentle support throughout.
At her best, Citroen is all elegant whimsy, but at her worst her vocals can be aggressively grating. You can hear both Citroens on Don't Cry Baby.
Track Listing: Just Another Man; Out Of The Blue; Donít Cry Baby; Song For You; From The Start; Love
Canít Be All Fun; The Samba Calls; Last September; Wise Women Know; Tropic Night; Miles
Apart; Good Old Jazz; Daddyís Girl; Long As You Pay; Charming Guy; Fantasies Are Free
Personnel: Soesja Citroen: vocals; Ruud Ouwehand: bass; Berend van den Berg: piano; Miriam Kroeze:
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.