Releases

Luck Child

Luck Child

With this album, Luck Child, a long-standing wish of Dutch jazz singer Fay Claassen is fulfilled. It is an ode to youth and beauty with a mix of old and new songs. This compilation consists mostly of songs that she has been singing for many years but has never before recorded. Famous and beloved songs like Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird,” Paul Simon’s “One Trick Pony,” Billie Holiday’s “God Bless the Child,” and songs by Burt Bacharach, and Ennio Morricone are presented alongside new compositions by Paul Heller. This is Fay Claassen’s most personal and most emotional release to date, and she will touch the listener’s heart with her beautiful voice that goes straight to the soul.

Sing!

Sing!

Fay Claassen: vocals
WDR Big Band & het Rundfunk Orchester
It does say a lot that Fay Claassen is recognized, worldwide, by music critics as a jazz singer of international stature and allure. The greatest jazzdiva of the Netherlands is part of the younger generation vocalists and her new cd one can call 'grand', figuratively ánd literally speaking. 

First there is this immense, big orchestra that is accompanying Fay: more than 120 people. In other words this is a BIG Big Band, consisting of WDR Big Band & het Rundfunk Orchester with conducter/arranger Michael Abene. Then there is the repertoire of great female vocal icons: from Ella to Björk and a lot of other famous ladies in between. This all makes the cd a big and extraordinary musical journey around the world. The choice of repertoire makes perfectly clear that Fay Claassen has a very broad musical interest. The fact that she sings also songs of for instance Joni Mitchell and Björk is a very pleasant surprise! Her interpretations are full of conviction and with a high doses of authenticity she makes these songs totally her own.

Cadence in the USA once wrote: “Fay Claassen is to singing what Audrey Hepburn was to the movies: elegant and graceful“. These words are also applicable to this new cd, where women have the leading role. Actrice Audrey Hepburn had a enormous and natural class and that is also a very important characteristic of Fay Claassen. 

CR 73301 | 0608917330120

Red, Hot & Blue

Red, Hot & Blue

Fay Claassen: vocal | Olaf Polziehn: piano | Ingmar Heller: bass | Hans Dekker: drums Bonus Track: Fay Claassen: vocal | Michael Abene: piano | Paul Heller: tenor saxophone.In choosing a composer like Cole Porter you have an extraordinary amount of material to pick from. Beside the more famous Porter melodies there are songs that are not performed as much such as “All Through the Night”, “Ridin´High” and “Too Darn Hot”. In writing for Piano, bass and drums I wanted to create something that was challenging to Fay and the musicians and hopefully I succeded. Fay’s sense of time, pitch and lyric interpertation made me appreciate even more (to say it again) what a wonderful artist she is. I look forward to our next project together. (Michael Abene, from liner notes) 
Fay Claassen’s interpretations of the ten timeless songs on this album testify most eloquently to her great affection for the work of Cole Porter, who was arguably the most accomplished, sophisticated and prolific contributor to the Great American Songbook. The combination of innovative and unconventional arrangements by Michael Abene, and a superbly compatible trio, makes this celebration of the enduring music and lyrics of the great Cole Porter an outstanding production.

Throughout, Fay Claassen sings with the impeccable timing and faultless diction for which she is renowned She has a confidence and élan that come from ten years of live performance experience. She negotiates complex melodic lines with great facility and sings the lyrics with great conviction and feeling.
As Michael Abene says, she has a great sense of time, pitch and lyric interpretation. It takes a great deal of assurance and control to sing Love For Sale at the dead slow tempo that is featured on this album, because it is a real challenge to maintain exact pitch on sustained notes – as Fay decidedly does. Most of the tracks feature scat choruses by Fay, sometimes in highly accurate harmony or unison with bassist Ingmar Heller – as on Dream Dancing –and she handles these with tremendous flair and vitality. 
In addition to their superbly integrated and sensitive accompaniment, the trio of Olaf Polziehn, Ingmar Heller and Hans Dekker all contribute fine solo choruses. (Mike Hennessey)

CR 73269 | 0608917326925

Two Portraits of Chet Baker

Two Portraits of Chet Baker

Karel Boehlee    - piano 
Hein van der Geyn    - bass 
John Engels    - drums 
Jan Menu    bariton - sax 
Jan Wessels    - trumpet

BMCD 497 | 0742451549720

Bob Brookmeyer’s „New Art Orchestra“

Bob Brookmeyer’s „New Art Orchestra“


„STANDARDS"
Arranged and conducted by Bob Brookmeyer
Vocals – Fay Claassen

Trumpets: Eckhard Baur, Ruud Breuls, Sebastian Strempel, Thorsten Benkenstein, Torsten Maas
Trombones: Anders Wiborg, Christian Jaksjo, Dominik Stoger, Ed Partyka
Saxophones: Edgar Herzog, Marko Lackner, Nils Van Haften, Oliver Leicht, Paul Heller
Piano: Kris Goessens
Synthesizer: Hendrik Soll
Bass: Ingmar Heller
Drums: John Hollenbeck

Liner Notes – Maria Schneider

Recorded and mixed at BR Studio, 2011 
Mastered at msm-Studio, Munich

© 2011 Bob Brookmeyer 
An ArtistShare fan-funded project  

Rhythms & Rhymes

Rhythms & Rhymes

Toots Thielemans 
Mike Stern 
Kenny Werner 
Joe Locke a.o.

BMCD 380 | 0742451538021

Specially arranged for Fay

Specially arranged for Fay

Millenium Jazz Orchestra 
arranged by Joan ReindersFay Claassen: vocals | Joan Reinders: conductor, arranger |
Willy van DiepenGerard GrobbenGerlo HesselinkMartin van der Horst, Job Helmers: saxophone, clarinet |
Rini Swinkels, Jan Wessels, Bert Fransen, Erik Hilferink, 
Herman Nijkamp
: trumpet, flugelhorn | Jeroen Rol, Henri Gerrits, Gert Nijenbanning, Eric Westerink: trombone |
Hans Kwakkernaat: piano | Bart Tarenskeen: bass | 
Niek van Wiggen: drums 
“Singing with a big band grabbed my imagination early on. It is difficult for me to put into words how great it is when a big band is “carrying” you, especially when you also feel bound up in an intense exchange. The first time I really experienced that combination of feelings was during a performance with The Millennium Jazz Orchestra. Contact developed with Joan
from that first time and the idea was also conceived to lay down that shared sensation on a CD. I would never have dared dream that his arrangements would turn out to be so special.
He must have been totally able to put himself in my place. In any case, he managed to give me the right musical inspiration, because in all of these arrangements he has given me the freedom to really enjoy myself.” 

With a song in my heart

With a song in my heart

Barry Harris 
John Ruocco 
Hein van der Geyn 
Marc van Roon 
John Engels a.o.

CHR 70096 | 0608917009620

Two portraits of Chet Baker Vol. 1

Two portraits of Chet Baker Vol. 1

BMCD 487 | 0742451548723

Two Portraits of Chet Baker Vol. 2

Two Portraits of Chet Baker Vol. 2

BMCD 488 | 0742451548822

Both sides - Loet van der Lee

Both sides - Loet van der Lee

Loet van der Lee – trumpet, flugelhorn | Robert Jan Vermeulen – piano | Johan Plomp – bass |Joost Kesselaar – drums 

With Special Guests : 
Dale Barlow – tenor saxophone | Fay Claasen – vocals
Jesse van Ruller – guitar | Martijn Vink – drums |
Sjoerd Dijkhuizen – tenor saxophone
This recording Loet managed to blend “Both Sides” of his playing – sensitive soloing as well as displaying his strong chops. On Both Sides he also presents a true All Star line-up with internationally renowed musicians such as Dutch guitarist Jesse van Ruller and stellar Australian saxist Dale Barlow. The first song Both Sides was written with the old Louis Armstrong sound in mind. A Dixie sound with a modern drive. Boogalee was inspired by the music of the great Eddie Harris. Boogaloo music is all about groove and so is Boogalee. The solos by Dale Barlow and Loet van der Lee set the listener into a high energy pace. The third tune, Honesty introduces Jess van Ruller’s guitar and Sjoerd Dijkhuizen’s tenor sax. Played without drums, the steady pulse of Johan Plomp’s bass and the accompanying of Jesse give Loet lots of space for some romantic and free flugelhorn playing over the changes. Sjoerd’s short display is beautiful and to the point. Tippin’ Brown was inspired by a blues line played by Oacar Peterson and Freddie Hubbard on the album Face To Face and uses strong hard bop lines in the style of Clifford Brown. It’s a fast blues with solos from piano and trumpet. The tenor saxophone on this track is played by Jan Menu. Loet recorded his original I Need You on his previous album Going Walkabout as an instrumental. On the new version of this beautiful love song Loet’s own lyrics are sung by Fee Claasen, followed by a flugelhorn solo and a piano solo. Body and Soul is still one of Loet’s all time favourites. He has performed it many times in all kind of different settings and on different occasions but for this recording date he chose to play it with only Jesse van Ruller on guitar. The exciting young Dutch drummer Martijn Vink is featured on Secret Prayers. With it’s different tempos, dynamics, grooves and sounds Secret Prayers is like a mirror of the ever changing human mind. The composition was inspired by Lee Morgan’s Search Of The New Land. The old standard There Goes My Heart is the only tune that uses six musicians. Although basically known as a ballad, here the song is transformed into a hard driven swinging up tempo version. Fee Claasen sings the melody, chased by the tenor sax of Sjoerd Dijkhuizen and the muted trumpet of Loet van der Lee. Pianist Robert Jan Vermeulen plays a beautiful solo to introduce Joanna’s Waltz, written by the German piano player Frank Wunsch. The theme is played on flugelhorn, joined in the second half by Dale Barlow’s tenor sax. The first solo is played by bassist Johan Plomp, followed by Loet on flugelhorn and Dale on tenor. The album’s closer is Lee Morgan’s Desert Moonlight. This is one of Lee Morgan’s great compositions, smoothly played by Sjoerd, Jesse, Johan, Martijn and Loet himself. All in all a great display by some of the most incredible jazz talent available in the Netherlands nowadays.

The Shakespeare Album

The Shakespeare Album

Ilja Reijngoud, Fay Claassen, Martijn van Iterson, Marius Beets, Marcel Serierse, Paul Heller
ACDHJ 0352 | 8717775550341

Standards and other pieces - Jan Verwey meets Bert van den Brink

Standards and other pieces - Jan Verwey meets Bert van den Brink

An incredible cd with mostly duos and some beautiful trios with Fay Claassen. Jan Verwey has a quiet, thoughtful approach and plays a lot of bebop-oriented lines. He derives inspiration from musicians playing bebop and beyond, among them Tom Harrell, Phil Woods, Jim McNeely and (not surprisingly) Bert van den Brink. Playing with Bert together on this cd Jan Verwey sees as a wonderful gift.

Jan Verwey: harmonica
Bert van den Brink: piano
Fay Claassen: vocals 

At 73, Dutch harmonica expert Jan Verwey is still growing as a musician every day. Listening to a concert recording he made half a year ago, he keeps saying to himself: “I can do better now.”  
 
A couple of years ago, he says, it would never have entered his mind to ask Bert van den Brink to record a session consisting mostly of duets. (The 50-year old piano virtuoso with a classical background, is well-known for lengthy associations with Dee Dee Bridgewater, Toots Thielemans, Philip Catherine and others.) “Bert is a giant on his instrument, and I thought he was out of my league. But at the concerts we did, he repeatedly said he loved the way I listen to him and react to his improvisations.”
 
Both are empathic musicians with great ears and fast reflexes. Like Bert, Jan can make incredible runs sound easy. 
 
Jan’s instrument – the chromatic harmonica – is more complex than it looks. “It has twelve tiny holes, and each of these can produce four notes: the first by blowing, the second by inhaling air, and the third and the fourth by doing the same with a side-button pushed in.” Coordinating all that demands the precision of a watchmaker, especially when you’re blowing choruses on fast bebop changes. 

The idea to record with just piano – adding singer Fay Claassen on some tracks – came partially from Chet Baker, who showed Jan you can make swinging intimate music without drums. In 2007, Jan accepted an invitation to perform at several Canadian jazz festivals with just Jilian Lebeck on piano and Paul Rushka on bass. “After a concert in Medicine Hat, we got a standing ovation from around 600 people. They clapped for 12 minutes; it was almost embarrassing. When I finally returned to my dressing room, the promoter said: ‘You have to go to the lounge; people are standing in line to buy your latest CD.’ So I sat down to sell and autograph my records; I felt like a bestseller author.”
 
After that experience, he resolved to keep his next recording sessions small and intimate, to make music with a fragile air. “The two days in the studio were pretty relaxed. Bert and I don’t need a rhythm section; we keep time in our heads.” Jan picked the songs, including “Stella by Starlight,” done as a fast waltz for once, and “It’s a Dance” by the late Michel Petrucciani, a French pianist he greatly admires. 
 
Fay Claassen, a singer who never wastes a note and never raises her voice, is a multi-faceted artist, able to scat in a Chet Baker-like manner but also to interpret a lyric, making every word count. It was Suzie Scraggs-Van de Geyn who wrote the words to Fay’s rendition of Charlie Parker’s solo in “Perhaps”.
 
But it was Bert’s suggestion that they also record some free improvisations: “Just sit down and play.” Jan: “I said it was all right by me, as long as we didn’t make the tracks too long. And I did propose we start in D-minor. Before we knew it, we’d recorded five tracks! That’s the kind of session it was.” 

Faces of China - Tony Overwater

Faces of China - Tony Overwater

Fay Claassen - vocals, Maarten Ornstein - clarinet, bass clarinet, tarogatoTony Overwater - acoustic bassJoost Lijbaart - drums, percussion 

Faces of China was recorded as music for the documentary Faces of China by Brigit Hillenius. The music and documentary tell the story of three dissident Chinese Poets. A videoclip is included with some of the material of the documentary.

JIM 75148 | 0608917514827

One Heart, Three Voices

One Heart, Three Voices

David Linx & Diederik Wissels meet Fay Claassen & Maria Pia de Vito
EM 0504 | 0826596031040

Simply Be

Simply Be

Carolyn Breuer / Fee Claassen quintet
CHR 70017 | 8712604700171

Why Shouldn

Why Shouldn't I - Erik Doelman Septet ft. John Marshall & Fay Claassen

Why Shouldn't I - Erik Doelman Septet ft. John Marshall & Fay Claassen

Playground - Amsterdam Jazz Quintet

Playground - Amsterdam Jazz Quintet

Playground - Amsterdam Jazz Quintet
CHR 70071 | 0608917007121

Crush - Live in Brussels 2008 - Ivan Paduart & The Metropole Orchestra

Crush - Live in Brussels 2008 - Ivan Paduart & The Metropole Orchestra

Crush - Live in Brussels 2008 - Ivan Paduart & The Metropole Orchestra
MR 874495 | 4260054554959

In Exile of Dreams - Ivan Paduart Quartet

In Exile of Dreams - Ivan Paduart Quartet

Ivan Paduart: piano, synthesizer | Fay Claassen: vocals | David Linx: vocals | Toon Roos: tenor & sop. saxophone | Philippe Aerts: double bass | Joost van Schaik: drums

More than 15 years in the meantime I practice the astonishing profession named musician. From the very beginning I was heavily tempted in writing my own compositions and moreover going through the pleasure thereafter of the attraction in performing my own pieces in public.
Originally inspired by classical music I discovered at last that jazz was the most perfect way making my music as valuable as possible. The variety of so many different shapes, rhythms, harmonies and above all things the endlessness offered by improvisation that gave me the belief that everything was possible even playing wrong notes. Preferring to play in a trio setting the strongest satisfaction given to me was writing compositions for musicians chosen by myself as Tom Harrell, Bob Malach, Toots Thielemans, Richard Galliano, Charlie Mariano, Rick Margitza and Toon Roos.
As I met Bob Hagen in 2001, I was touched by his enthusiastic readiness to support musicians provided that he admired their qualities. His support and unshakable belief in my values as a 
composer he made several projects and important concerts possible for me. On behalf of this album I invited two special vocalists both so very much admired European male and female singer David Linx and Fay Claassen. (Ivan Paduart, liner notes)
The Jazz Impulse Foundation was founded for the purpose of supporting musicians deserving greater recognition. During the quality selection there is a careful assessment considering opportunities and possibilities for the future success of these musicians. Ivan has the ability to compose in such an unexpected way that he is always recognizable in his work in a way nobody else does. His pieces, never superficial and never dull, are surprisingly lucid.
Every new composition again is an unbelievable experience, and many great and well known jazz musicians are always willing to play with him and of course especially his beautiful compositions. My very firm believe is that sometime in the future Ivan will unmistakably reach the status of a famous composer.
Next to the instrumental quartet pieces in which the marvelous playing Toon Roos on saxophone proves his unbelievable musical and lyrical intelligence there is also a solo piece in which Ivan proves consistently his fresh ideas. But the overtone on this album is dominated by two singers, both together or individually singing: Fay Claassen and David Linx who made individually already many cd’s. Without doubt you are within a few minutes convinced that here are gathered two of the best jazz singers of Europe with highly artistic repertoire. Though they both are qualified improvising soloists on this cd they don’t do that. They will impress you with a vivid blend of their vocal qualities with a number of not easy listening songs. For advanced music inquisitives these singers take their chances to the full extend to lead them to the limits of full admiration.

BMCD 75391 | 0608917539127

A Night at the Music Village - Ivan Paduart

A Night at the Music Village - Ivan Paduart

BMCD 395 | 0742451539523

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Luck Child

Luck Child

With this album, Luck Child, a long-standing wish of Dutch jazz singer Fay Claassen is fulfilled. It is an ode to youth and beauty with a mix of old and new songs. This compilation consists mostly of songs that she has been singing for many years but has never before recorded. Famous and beloved songs like Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird,” Paul Simon’s “One Trick Pony,” Billie Holiday’s “God Bless the Child,” and songs by Burt Bacharach, and Ennio Morricone are presented alongside new compositions by Paul Heller. This is Fay Claassen’s most personal and most emotional release to date, and she will touch the listener’s heart with her beautiful voice that goes straight to the soul.

Sing!

Sing!

Fay Claassen: vocals
WDR Big Band & het Rundfunk Orchester
It does say a lot that Fay Claassen is recognized, worldwide, by music critics as a jazz singer of international stature and allure. The greatest jazzdiva of the Netherlands is part of the younger generation vocalists and her new cd one can call 'grand', figuratively ánd literally speaking. 

First there is this immense, big orchestra that is accompanying Fay: more than 120 people. In other words this is a BIG Big Band, consisting of WDR Big Band & het Rundfunk Orchester with conducter/arranger Michael Abene. Then there is the repertoire of great female vocal icons: from Ella to Björk and a lot of other famous ladies in between. This all makes the cd a big and extraordinary musical journey around the world. The choice of repertoire makes perfectly clear that Fay Claassen has a very broad musical interest. The fact that she sings also songs of for instance Joni Mitchell and Björk is a very pleasant surprise! Her interpretations are full of conviction and with a high doses of authenticity she makes these songs totally her own.

Cadence in the USA once wrote: “Fay Claassen is to singing what Audrey Hepburn was to the movies: elegant and graceful“. These words are also applicable to this new cd, where women have the leading role. Actrice Audrey Hepburn had a enormous and natural class and that is also a very important characteristic of Fay Claassen. 

CR 73301 | 0608917330120

Red, Hot & Blue

Red, Hot & Blue

Fay Claassen: vocal | Olaf Polziehn: piano | Ingmar Heller: bass | Hans Dekker: drums Bonus Track: Fay Claassen: vocal | Michael Abene: piano | Paul Heller: tenor saxophone.In choosing a composer like Cole Porter you have an extraordinary amount of material to pick from. Beside the more famous Porter melodies there are songs that are not performed as much such as “All Through the Night”, “Ridin´High” and “Too Darn Hot”. In writing for Piano, bass and drums I wanted to create something that was challenging to Fay and the musicians and hopefully I succeded. Fay’s sense of time, pitch and lyric interpertation made me appreciate even more (to say it again) what a wonderful artist she is. I look forward to our next project together. (Michael Abene, from liner notes) 
Fay Claassen’s interpretations of the ten timeless songs on this album testify most eloquently to her great affection for the work of Cole Porter, who was arguably the most accomplished, sophisticated and prolific contributor to the Great American Songbook. The combination of innovative and unconventional arrangements by Michael Abene, and a superbly compatible trio, makes this celebration of the enduring music and lyrics of the great Cole Porter an outstanding production.

Throughout, Fay Claassen sings with the impeccable timing and faultless diction for which she is renowned She has a confidence and élan that come from ten years of live performance experience. She negotiates complex melodic lines with great facility and sings the lyrics with great conviction and feeling.
As Michael Abene says, she has a great sense of time, pitch and lyric interpretation. It takes a great deal of assurance and control to sing Love For Sale at the dead slow tempo that is featured on this album, because it is a real challenge to maintain exact pitch on sustained notes – as Fay decidedly does. Most of the tracks feature scat choruses by Fay, sometimes in highly accurate harmony or unison with bassist Ingmar Heller – as on Dream Dancing –and she handles these with tremendous flair and vitality. 
In addition to their superbly integrated and sensitive accompaniment, the trio of Olaf Polziehn, Ingmar Heller and Hans Dekker all contribute fine solo choruses. (Mike Hennessey)

CR 73269 | 0608917326925

Two Portraits of Chet Baker

Two Portraits of Chet Baker

Karel Boehlee    - piano 
Hein van der Geyn    - bass 
John Engels    - drums 
Jan Menu    bariton - sax 
Jan Wessels    - trumpet

BMCD 497 | 0742451549720

Bob Brookmeyer’s „New Art Orchestra“

Bob Brookmeyer’s „New Art Orchestra“


„STANDARDS"
Arranged and conducted by Bob Brookmeyer
Vocals – Fay Claassen

Trumpets: Eckhard Baur, Ruud Breuls, Sebastian Strempel, Thorsten Benkenstein, Torsten Maas
Trombones: Anders Wiborg, Christian Jaksjo, Dominik Stoger, Ed Partyka
Saxophones: Edgar Herzog, Marko Lackner, Nils Van Haften, Oliver Leicht, Paul Heller
Piano: Kris Goessens
Synthesizer: Hendrik Soll
Bass: Ingmar Heller
Drums: John Hollenbeck

Liner Notes – Maria Schneider

Recorded and mixed at BR Studio, 2011 
Mastered at msm-Studio, Munich

© 2011 Bob Brookmeyer 
An ArtistShare fan-funded project  

Rhythms & Rhymes

Rhythms & Rhymes

Toots Thielemans 
Mike Stern 
Kenny Werner 
Joe Locke a.o.

BMCD 380 | 0742451538021

Specially arranged for Fay

Specially arranged for Fay

Millenium Jazz Orchestra 
arranged by Joan ReindersFay Claassen: vocals | Joan Reinders: conductor, arranger |
Willy van DiepenGerard GrobbenGerlo HesselinkMartin van der Horst, Job Helmers: saxophone, clarinet |
Rini Swinkels, Jan Wessels, Bert Fransen, Erik Hilferink, 
Herman Nijkamp
: trumpet, flugelhorn | Jeroen Rol, Henri Gerrits, Gert Nijenbanning, Eric Westerink: trombone |
Hans Kwakkernaat: piano | Bart Tarenskeen: bass | 
Niek van Wiggen: drums 
“Singing with a big band grabbed my imagination early on. It is difficult for me to put into words how great it is when a big band is “carrying” you, especially when you also feel bound up in an intense exchange. The first time I really experienced that combination of feelings was during a performance with The Millennium Jazz Orchestra. Contact developed with Joan
from that first time and the idea was also conceived to lay down that shared sensation on a CD. I would never have dared dream that his arrangements would turn out to be so special.
He must have been totally able to put himself in my place. In any case, he managed to give me the right musical inspiration, because in all of these arrangements he has given me the freedom to really enjoy myself.” 

With a song in my heart

With a song in my heart

Barry Harris 
John Ruocco 
Hein van der Geyn 
Marc van Roon 
John Engels a.o.

CHR 70096 | 0608917009620

Two portraits of Chet Baker Vol. 1

Two portraits of Chet Baker Vol. 1

BMCD 487 | 0742451548723

Two Portraits of Chet Baker Vol. 2

Two Portraits of Chet Baker Vol. 2

BMCD 488 | 0742451548822

Both sides - Loet van der Lee

Both sides - Loet van der Lee

Loet van der Lee – trumpet, flugelhorn | Robert Jan Vermeulen – piano | Johan Plomp – bass |Joost Kesselaar – drums 

With Special Guests : 
Dale Barlow – tenor saxophone | Fay Claasen – vocals
Jesse van Ruller – guitar | Martijn Vink – drums |
Sjoerd Dijkhuizen – tenor saxophone
This recording Loet managed to blend “Both Sides” of his playing – sensitive soloing as well as displaying his strong chops. On Both Sides he also presents a true All Star line-up with internationally renowed musicians such as Dutch guitarist Jesse van Ruller and stellar Australian saxist Dale Barlow. The first song Both Sides was written with the old Louis Armstrong sound in mind. A Dixie sound with a modern drive. Boogalee was inspired by the music of the great Eddie Harris. Boogaloo music is all about groove and so is Boogalee. The solos by Dale Barlow and Loet van der Lee set the listener into a high energy pace. The third tune, Honesty introduces Jess van Ruller’s guitar and Sjoerd Dijkhuizen’s tenor sax. Played without drums, the steady pulse of Johan Plomp’s bass and the accompanying of Jesse give Loet lots of space for some romantic and free flugelhorn playing over the changes. Sjoerd’s short display is beautiful and to the point. Tippin’ Brown was inspired by a blues line played by Oacar Peterson and Freddie Hubbard on the album Face To Face and uses strong hard bop lines in the style of Clifford Brown. It’s a fast blues with solos from piano and trumpet. The tenor saxophone on this track is played by Jan Menu. Loet recorded his original I Need You on his previous album Going Walkabout as an instrumental. On the new version of this beautiful love song Loet’s own lyrics are sung by Fee Claasen, followed by a flugelhorn solo and a piano solo. Body and Soul is still one of Loet’s all time favourites. He has performed it many times in all kind of different settings and on different occasions but for this recording date he chose to play it with only Jesse van Ruller on guitar. The exciting young Dutch drummer Martijn Vink is featured on Secret Prayers. With it’s different tempos, dynamics, grooves and sounds Secret Prayers is like a mirror of the ever changing human mind. The composition was inspired by Lee Morgan’s Search Of The New Land. The old standard There Goes My Heart is the only tune that uses six musicians. Although basically known as a ballad, here the song is transformed into a hard driven swinging up tempo version. Fee Claasen sings the melody, chased by the tenor sax of Sjoerd Dijkhuizen and the muted trumpet of Loet van der Lee. Pianist Robert Jan Vermeulen plays a beautiful solo to introduce Joanna’s Waltz, written by the German piano player Frank Wunsch. The theme is played on flugelhorn, joined in the second half by Dale Barlow’s tenor sax. The first solo is played by bassist Johan Plomp, followed by Loet on flugelhorn and Dale on tenor. The album’s closer is Lee Morgan’s Desert Moonlight. This is one of Lee Morgan’s great compositions, smoothly played by Sjoerd, Jesse, Johan, Martijn and Loet himself. All in all a great display by some of the most incredible jazz talent available in the Netherlands nowadays.

The Shakespeare Album

The Shakespeare Album

Ilja Reijngoud, Fay Claassen, Martijn van Iterson, Marius Beets, Marcel Serierse, Paul Heller
ACDHJ 0352 | 8717775550341

Standards and other pieces - Jan Verwey meets Bert van den Brink

Standards and other pieces - Jan Verwey meets Bert van den Brink

An incredible cd with mostly duos and some beautiful trios with Fay Claassen. Jan Verwey has a quiet, thoughtful approach and plays a lot of bebop-oriented lines. He derives inspiration from musicians playing bebop and beyond, among them Tom Harrell, Phil Woods, Jim McNeely and (not surprisingly) Bert van den Brink. Playing with Bert together on this cd Jan Verwey sees as a wonderful gift.

Jan Verwey: harmonica
Bert van den Brink: piano
Fay Claassen: vocals 

At 73, Dutch harmonica expert Jan Verwey is still growing as a musician every day. Listening to a concert recording he made half a year ago, he keeps saying to himself: “I can do better now.”  
 
A couple of years ago, he says, it would never have entered his mind to ask Bert van den Brink to record a session consisting mostly of duets. (The 50-year old piano virtuoso with a classical background, is well-known for lengthy associations with Dee Dee Bridgewater, Toots Thielemans, Philip Catherine and others.) “Bert is a giant on his instrument, and I thought he was out of my league. But at the concerts we did, he repeatedly said he loved the way I listen to him and react to his improvisations.”
 
Both are empathic musicians with great ears and fast reflexes. Like Bert, Jan can make incredible runs sound easy. 
 
Jan’s instrument – the chromatic harmonica – is more complex than it looks. “It has twelve tiny holes, and each of these can produce four notes: the first by blowing, the second by inhaling air, and the third and the fourth by doing the same with a side-button pushed in.” Coordinating all that demands the precision of a watchmaker, especially when you’re blowing choruses on fast bebop changes. 

The idea to record with just piano – adding singer Fay Claassen on some tracks – came partially from Chet Baker, who showed Jan you can make swinging intimate music without drums. In 2007, Jan accepted an invitation to perform at several Canadian jazz festivals with just Jilian Lebeck on piano and Paul Rushka on bass. “After a concert in Medicine Hat, we got a standing ovation from around 600 people. They clapped for 12 minutes; it was almost embarrassing. When I finally returned to my dressing room, the promoter said: ‘You have to go to the lounge; people are standing in line to buy your latest CD.’ So I sat down to sell and autograph my records; I felt like a bestseller author.”
 
After that experience, he resolved to keep his next recording sessions small and intimate, to make music with a fragile air. “The two days in the studio were pretty relaxed. Bert and I don’t need a rhythm section; we keep time in our heads.” Jan picked the songs, including “Stella by Starlight,” done as a fast waltz for once, and “It’s a Dance” by the late Michel Petrucciani, a French pianist he greatly admires. 
 
Fay Claassen, a singer who never wastes a note and never raises her voice, is a multi-faceted artist, able to scat in a Chet Baker-like manner but also to interpret a lyric, making every word count. It was Suzie Scraggs-Van de Geyn who wrote the words to Fay’s rendition of Charlie Parker’s solo in “Perhaps”.
 
But it was Bert’s suggestion that they also record some free improvisations: “Just sit down and play.” Jan: “I said it was all right by me, as long as we didn’t make the tracks too long. And I did propose we start in D-minor. Before we knew it, we’d recorded five tracks! That’s the kind of session it was.” 

Faces of China - Tony Overwater

Faces of China - Tony Overwater

Fay Claassen - vocals, Maarten Ornstein - clarinet, bass clarinet, tarogatoTony Overwater - acoustic bassJoost Lijbaart - drums, percussion 

Faces of China was recorded as music for the documentary Faces of China by Brigit Hillenius. The music and documentary tell the story of three dissident Chinese Poets. A videoclip is included with some of the material of the documentary.

JIM 75148 | 0608917514827

One Heart, Three Voices

One Heart, Three Voices

David Linx & Diederik Wissels meet Fay Claassen & Maria Pia de Vito
EM 0504 | 0826596031040

Simply Be

Simply Be

Carolyn Breuer / Fee Claassen quintet
CHR 70017 | 8712604700171

Why Shouldn

Why Shouldn't I - Erik Doelman Septet ft. John Marshall & Fay Claassen

Why Shouldn't I - Erik Doelman Septet ft. John Marshall & Fay Claassen

Playground - Amsterdam Jazz Quintet

Playground - Amsterdam Jazz Quintet

Playground - Amsterdam Jazz Quintet
CHR 70071 | 0608917007121

Crush - Live in Brussels 2008 - Ivan Paduart & The Metropole Orchestra

Crush - Live in Brussels 2008 - Ivan Paduart & The Metropole Orchestra

Crush - Live in Brussels 2008 - Ivan Paduart & The Metropole Orchestra
MR 874495 | 4260054554959

In Exile of Dreams - Ivan Paduart Quartet

In Exile of Dreams - Ivan Paduart Quartet

Ivan Paduart: piano, synthesizer | Fay Claassen: vocals | David Linx: vocals | Toon Roos: tenor & sop. saxophone | Philippe Aerts: double bass | Joost van Schaik: drums

More than 15 years in the meantime I practice the astonishing profession named musician. From the very beginning I was heavily tempted in writing my own compositions and moreover going through the pleasure thereafter of the attraction in performing my own pieces in public.
Originally inspired by classical music I discovered at last that jazz was the most perfect way making my music as valuable as possible. The variety of so many different shapes, rhythms, harmonies and above all things the endlessness offered by improvisation that gave me the belief that everything was possible even playing wrong notes. Preferring to play in a trio setting the strongest satisfaction given to me was writing compositions for musicians chosen by myself as Tom Harrell, Bob Malach, Toots Thielemans, Richard Galliano, Charlie Mariano, Rick Margitza and Toon Roos.
As I met Bob Hagen in 2001, I was touched by his enthusiastic readiness to support musicians provided that he admired their qualities. His support and unshakable belief in my values as a 
composer he made several projects and important concerts possible for me. On behalf of this album I invited two special vocalists both so very much admired European male and female singer David Linx and Fay Claassen. (Ivan Paduart, liner notes)
The Jazz Impulse Foundation was founded for the purpose of supporting musicians deserving greater recognition. During the quality selection there is a careful assessment considering opportunities and possibilities for the future success of these musicians. Ivan has the ability to compose in such an unexpected way that he is always recognizable in his work in a way nobody else does. His pieces, never superficial and never dull, are surprisingly lucid.
Every new composition again is an unbelievable experience, and many great and well known jazz musicians are always willing to play with him and of course especially his beautiful compositions. My very firm believe is that sometime in the future Ivan will unmistakably reach the status of a famous composer.
Next to the instrumental quartet pieces in which the marvelous playing Toon Roos on saxophone proves his unbelievable musical and lyrical intelligence there is also a solo piece in which Ivan proves consistently his fresh ideas. But the overtone on this album is dominated by two singers, both together or individually singing: Fay Claassen and David Linx who made individually already many cd’s. Without doubt you are within a few minutes convinced that here are gathered two of the best jazz singers of Europe with highly artistic repertoire. Though they both are qualified improvising soloists on this cd they don’t do that. They will impress you with a vivid blend of their vocal qualities with a number of not easy listening songs. For advanced music inquisitives these singers take their chances to the full extend to lead them to the limits of full admiration.

BMCD 75391 | 0608917539127

A Night at the Music Village - Ivan Paduart

A Night at the Music Village - Ivan Paduart

BMCD 395 | 0742451539523