Red, Hot & Blue

Red, Hot & Blue

Fay Claassen

Label: Challenge Records
Format: CD
Barcode: 0608917326925
Catalog number: CR 73269
Releasedate: 30-05-08
The music of Cole Porter
Arrangements by Michael Abene

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)