Two Portraits of Chet Baker

Two Portraits of Chet Baker

by Fay Claassen
     
 
Dutch jazz vocalist Fay Claassen's tribute in honor of the late Chet Baker's 75th birthday is an impressive achievement. Gifted with a beautiful voice, she captures the nuances of the material selected. This two-CD set is divided into two sections. The first disc covers songs from the Gerry Mulligan Quartet that featured

Overview

Dutch jazz vocalist Fay Claassen's tribute in honor of the late Chet Baker's 75th birthday is an impressive achievement. Gifted with a beautiful voice, she captures the nuances of the material selected. This two-CD set is divided into two sections. The first disc covers songs from the Gerry Mulligan Quartet that featured Baker, with Claassen singing wordless vocals in place of Baker's trumpet. The substitution is not a gimmick and quite effective, as she has a very melodic voice that blends well with baritone saxophonist Jan Menu (who arranged and transcribed the original recordings for this date). "Line for Lyons" (misspelled "Line for Lions" on this release) is heard in two versions, a quartet and a shorter, lyrical duet with Menu. She proves very playful in "Jeru" and swings just fine with Menu sitting out "Godchild," backed by bassist Hein Van de Geyn and drummer John Engels' brushes. There are some reservations about these reworkings of the old quartet repertoire. It is somewhat difficult to sit through the entire session in one hearing, as it is easy to eventually get tired of the wordless vocals; while Menu's technique is good, he has a bit of a harsher sound and isn't quite to Mulligan's level in executing his ideas. Disc two focuses mainly on music that Chet Baker recorded as a vocalist and leader after leaving Mulligan, with Claassen effectively interpreting the lyrics to each piece. The band changes slightly, with pianist Karel Boehlee and trumpeter Jan Wessels taking the place of Menu's baritone sax, with Van de Geyn providing all of the arrangements. Although "My Funny Valentine" is considered overly recorded by singers, Claassen's sensitive, emotional treatment is well worth hearing. The brisk rendition of "Look for the Silver Lining" is upbeat, with marvelous playing behind the vocalist. But it's hard to top her duet with Boehlee of "Blame It on My Youth" to close this fine tribute to the gifted but troubled Chet Baker.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/13/2006
Label:
Jazz'n Pulz
UPC:
0742451549720
catalogNumber:
497

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Fay Claassen   Primary Artist,Vocals
Hein van de Geyn   Double Bass
John Engels   Drums
Karel Boehlee   Piano
Jan Menu   Baritone Saxophone
Jan Wessels   Trumpet
Jan Menu   Baritone Saxophone

Technical Credits

Chico Buarque   Composer
Elvis Costello   Composer
Chet Baker   Liner Notes
Gerry Mulligan   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Lew Brown   Composer
Hein van de Geyn   Arranger,Producer
Charlie Haden   Composer
Robert Hagen   Liner Notes,Executive Producer
Lorenz Hart   Composer
Ray Henderson   Composer
Alberto Dominguez   Composer
Chris Weeda   Engineer
Jan Menu   Arranger,Producer
Nicole Scherzinger   Composer
Jeroen De Valk   Liner Notes
Fay Classen   Liner Notes

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