The great jazz saxophonists of the past like Lester Young, knew a thing or two about lyricism and singers, and if he were playing today, he’d be mightily taken by Holland’s Fay Claassen.
The comparison seems apt, for this is a singer who swings as hard as any saxophonist, and her 2005 release “Two Sides of Chet Baker”, a deeply personal homage to the iconic trumpeter, has seen her star firmly in the ascendance on both sides of The Atlantic.
She is defiantly a singer of standards, but this is no exercise in nostalgia. When Claassen brings her elegant vocal instrument to bear on these old songs, it’s as if the ink had just dried on the manuscript.
Celebrating the songs with her are Paul Heller, tenor saxophonist with Cologne’s feted WDR Big Band, joined by pianist Francesco Turrisi, bassist Damien Evans and drummer Kevin Brady.