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Dutch singer Fay Claassen doesn't necessarily push beyond the musical house, but she does occasionally rearrange the furniture. Her surveys of the Chet Baker catalog Two Portraits of Chet Baker (Jazz'n Pulz, 2006) revealed an abiding respect for the jazz canon, while also giving hint to a playful and creative attitude toward the music. This is never in more evidence than on her cover of Björk's "Cover Me," from the Icelandic pop singer's Post (Elektra, 1995).
Under the direction of Michael Abene who drives the superb WDR Big Band Cologne and the WDR Rundfunkorchester, the song become a modern tone poem, something Richard Strauss would have composed after his Last Four Songs, had the composer ever heard The Sugarcubes. It boasts the quiet rebellious spirit of the Entartete Musik of Korngold and Goldschmidt, cast in the crystalline sonics of today.
Personnel: Fay Claassen: vocals; Michael Abene: conductor; Andy Haderer:
trumpet; Rob Bruynen: trumpet; Wim Both: trumpet; Klaus Osterloh:
trumpet; John Marshall: trumpet; Ludwig Ness: trombone; Felix Fromm: trombone; Bernt Laukamp: trombone; Mattis Cederberg: trombone; Johan Horlen: saxophone; Karolina Strassmayer: saxophone; Oliver Peters: saxophone; Paul Heller: saxophone; Jens Neufang: saxophone; Frank Chestenier: piano; Paul Shigihara: guitar; John Goldsby: bass; Hans Dekker: drums; WDR Rundfunkorchester.
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.