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. The high point of the album is "Autumn Leaves," which Kaestli performs in both French and English. Rather than scatting a lot, Kaestli does very interesting things harmonically with the melody.
Another very unique arrangement is Kaestli's funkified version of "My Funny Valentine," which features the Til Brooner-ish muted trumpet obbligato of Kenny Rampton and the organ of Ben Stivers. But the most unusual of all is the jazz version of "Dido's Lament" ("When I am Laid in Earth") from Henry Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas, a work that was composed in the last decade of the 17th Century. This aria is in the form of a chaconne, which features a repeating bass pattern. It was a topos of 17th Century operatic practices that in a lament, this bass pattern would typically be a descending fourth by half steps. And as the Swingle Singers showed us in the 1950s and 1960s, baroque music can be extremely adaptable to jazz.
Beat Kaestli is an extremely talented and adventurous jazz singer whio has a great future ahead of him. Happy, Sad and Satisfied will leave you very happy, not sad at all, and very satisfied.
Track Listing: Summertime; You'd be so Nice to Come Home to; Blue/'Round Midnight; Les Feuilles Mortes/
Autumn leaves; Lazy Afternoon; My Funny Valentine; Thy Hand, Belinda/When I am Laid in
Earth; So in love; Tenderly; I (Who Have Nothing).
Personnel: Beat Kaetli: voice; Ben Stivers: piano, Rhodes, organ; Marcus McLaurine: bass; Steve Doyle:
bass; Jochen Rueckert: drums; Andres Patrick Forero: percussion; Kenny Rampton: trumpet,
flugelhorn; Joel Frahm: tenor saxophone; Lance Murphy: tenor saxophone
Year Released: 2005
| Record Label: B&B Productions
| Style: Vocal
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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