252

Fay Claassen: Red Hot & Blue: The Music of Cole Porter

Ken Dryden By

Sign in to view read count
Fay Claassen: Red Hot & Blue: The Music of Cole Porter With a virtual flood of female jazz vocalists seemingly appearing every year, it is a challenge to separate the wheat from the chaff. But anyway you slice it, Fay Claassen, one of European jazz's top singers, makes the cut. Graduating from the Conservatory of The Hague in 1997, she had a host of great teachers, including renowned jazz vocalist Judy Niemack. The rich-voiced alto learned her lessons well, with clear articulation and terrific tone to complement her urbane, sophisticated approach to singing, with no trace of her native Dutch accent.

Claassen's fifth CD is her first to focus solely on the works of a single composer. The 11 Cole Porter songs that she chooses are among his most popular, so she faces a considerable challenge to find a fresh approach to each of them. Fortunately, with the superb charts by Michael Abene and a potent trio—pianist Olaf Polziehn, bassist Ingmar Heller and drummer Hans Dekker—she is able to make them her own.

She savors Abene's bluesy treatment of "Love For Sale," bringing out the sexy nature of its lyrics as she tackles it at an almost crawling tempo. She shows her romantic side in the lighter-hearted rendition of "Dream Dancing," lagging just a bit behind the beat. The quirky staccato introduction to "Anything Goes" is a refreshing modern touch, though it quickly gives way to a swinging post-bop setting. While Claassen is also an accomplished scat singer, she doesn't overdo it, unlike her previous Two Portraits of Chet Baker (Jazz 'N Pulz, 2006).


Track Listing: I Get a Kick Out of You; Easy To Love; Love For Sale; Ridin' High; Dream Dancing; Anything Goes; You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To; I Concentrate On You; All Through the Night; Too Darn Hot; So in Love.

Personnel: Fay Claassen: vocals; Ingmar Heller: bass; Olaf Polziehn: piano; Hans Dekker: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Challenge Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Wild About You" CD/LP/Track Review Wild About You
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 2, 2016
Read "Still" CD/LP/Track Review Still
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Heavy Feel" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Feel
by Doug Collette
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by John Sharpe
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Time Out" CD/LP/Track Review Time Out
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: July 9, 2016
Read "Intuitus" CD/LP/Track Review Intuitus
by John Eyles
Published: April 23, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!