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 it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.