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Rhythms and Rhymes by Fay Claasen

Sensual, breezy and classy. This is the best description of Fay Claasen's latest CD, Rhythms and Rhymes. Her voice resembles Dianne Reeves but has her own unique style of singing. My favorite song on this CD is her beautiful rendition of Miles Davis' Seven Steps To Heaven. On this track she scat sings wonderfully and the piano and percussion blend together harmoniously. What I liked was that she didn't take away from the original version. Another favorite song on this CD is Wild Is Love. It's an upbeat and happy song and it also reminds me of traditional Cuban rhythms.

Fay Claasen also shows her bilingual side on this CD. She sings in French on La Belle Dame Sans Regrets and in Portuguese on the rendition of the Brazilian classic Comecar de Novo. I find this exceptional because it's a trait that I don't find in other jazz artists. Con Alma is another great tune. It's dominated by the marimbas and vibes and this is the song where she resembles Dianne Reeves the most. But despite the title, Fay sings in English. My second favorite track is Peace On Earth. It sounds more like R&B than jazz but is still classy. I also think it's the only danceable song on the CD. In addition, Fay does a wonderful wordless vocal on this track. Legendary harmonica player Toots Thielemans also appears on two of her tracks.

Fay Claasen is a talented and sultry singer. She can take any song in any language and make it her own. Her versatility makes her one of jazz's most promising stars. I'll give this CD a rating of four cups of hot chocolate.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Fay Claasen
  • CD Title: Rhythms and Rhymes
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Jazz N Pulz'
  • Tracks: Con Alma, What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life, Wild Is Love, La Belle Dame Sans Regrets, It Never Entered My Mind, Peace On Earth, If You Go Away, Seven Steps To Heaven, Once Upon A Summertime, Comecar de Novo.
  • Musicians: Fay Claasen(vocals), Toots Thielemans(harmonica), Kenny Werner(piano), Steve Davis(trombone),Mike Stern(electric guitar), Joe Locke(vibes, marimba), Freddie Bryant(guitar), Boris Koslov(bass), Joris Teepe (bass), Gilad(percussion/drums).
  • Rating: Four Stars
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