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Here's some jewels from the chest of Best Kept Secrets from the Netherlands. We are fortunate to have known of this lady for more than twenty-five years, thanks to the input from Jiggs Whigham of Berlin. Greetje Kauffeld is celebrating her 40th year in music - every year an on-going series of CLASS. If you don't know her, it's small wonder. Few Americans do. That, friends, is OUR loss.
Maturity, pitch, control, phrase purity, and Jazz juices in place, Ms. Kauffeld is one of the peerless voices of our time. When combined with the great RIAS Big Band of Berlin, and with the masterful charts of Jerry van Rooijen of the Netherlands, the result is STUNNING! There are nine unique performances of Jazz standards and surprises - plus two great medleys on this superb CD. The total time is nearly sixty-four minutes of (that word again) CLASS.
If you were moved by the love-work of Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Sue Raney, and Cleo Laine, you'll be blown-away by Greetje Kauffeld! For those who are > moved by the sounds of a Big Band full of Monsters, they'll be knocked-out by Professor Whigham's German "family." And if the creations of prodigiously gifted jazz composer-arrangers are "your thing", Jerry van Rooijen will be a name you won't forget. And if four stars is the max, this one will be worth all the stars in the Jazz Galaxy.
Try this one in subdued light. A bit of your favorite beverage is recommended.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.