Colette Wickenhagen | Just Friends Jammin'

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Just Friends Jammin'

by Colette Wickenhagen

"... Colette doesn't like to show off, and , doesn't need to do so either. But she just can't help sounding like a complete jazz singer. She sings perfectly in tune and uses an impressive range, but still manages to sound warm and relaxed...."
Genre: Jazz: Mainstream Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Agua De Beber
3:13 $0.99
2. More Than You Know
4:55 $0.99
3. Days Of Wine And Roses
5:54 $0.99
4. Just Friends
2:10 $0.99
5. How Long Has This Been Going On?
6:15 $0.99
6. No Moon At All
3:27 $0.99
7. They Can't Take That Away From Me
4:05 $0.99
8. What A Difference A Day Made
5:11 $0.99
9. The Nearness Of You
5:32 $0.99
10. 'S Wonderful
2:19 $0.99
11. Just One Of Those Things
3:36 $0.99
12. Jetlag Jam
5:01 $0.99
13. A Night In Tunesia
2:49 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Liner notes: CD Just Friends Jammin’ / 2009

Colette Wickenhagen doesn’t like to show off, and doesn’t need to do so either. But she just can’t help sounding like a complete jazz singer.

She is able to deliver a text in a meaningful way, making every word count; when she sings about ‘chills on my spine’ (in her memorable rendition of ‘How Long Has This Been Going On’) you just have to believe her. But she can also scat in the right way: daring, harmonically advanced, not just some silly ‘shoo-be-doo-be’.

She sings perfectly in tune and uses an impressive range, but still manages to sound warm and relaxed.

Her behaviour is like Duke Ellington’s singer Ivie Anderson: a glamorous showgirl onstage, dancing and flirting, but very down to earth and ‘one of the boys’ backstage.

Her only problem, according to herself, is that she feels ill at ease in the studio. As a result, she decided to record the cd you just purchased in the way one would organise a jam session. ‘Jammin’’ with some kindred spirits: ‘Just Friends’, as the title and subtitle of the record confirm.

She turned the recording into a spontaneous affair. For once, she decided not to prepare every single tune but just let the music happen.

She couldn’t ignore some mainstays of her repertoire: ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’, ‘The Nearness Of You’ and the three songs done with a bossa beat: ‘Agua De Beber’, ‘The Days Of Wine And Roses’ and ‘What A Difference A Day Made’. ,The audience keeps asking for these tunes’’, she states, ,,and I always enjoys singing them.’’

But most of the repertoire she never sang before on stage! She heard two of the songs for the first time just one day before the recording session. ,,I heard ‘More Than You Know’ on You Tube and fell in love with the song. Clous van Mechelen, my regular saxophone player, came up with ‘No Moon At All’ and we decided to do that one as well.’’

She sang ‘How Long Has This Been Going On’ because Frits Katee had done a fabulous job on ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’ and she wanted to keep him in the studio a little longer.

Saskia Laroo’s trumpet can be heard on a blues named ‘Jetlag Jam’, because Laroo came to the studio straight from a tour in Dubai.

‘’s Wonderful’ was a request from drummer Ben Schröder. At the end of the day, there was some studio time left and Colette decided to do some more up-tempo-tunes. On the spot, she called for the chestnuts ‘Just Friends’ and ‘Just One Of Those Things’.

,,Working in the studio really went smoothly this time. We had fun and gradually, I felt at ease and noticed I was singing as relaxed as I do on stage. It had to be like that, with all those great guys backing me! They really carried me through.’’

The musicians are from various backgrounds. Violinist Michael Gustorff is a conservatory teacher who hails from Germany, Rinus Groeneveld (heard on ‘The Days Of Wine And Roses’ and ‘Jetlag Jam’) is a self-taught tenor man with a huge sound and roots in the blues, Clous van Mechelen (also on tenor here, his favourite horn) is a well-known composer and producer of music for theatre and commercials, trumpeter Saskia Laroo tours the world with her hip dance outfit and the many-sided reedman Frits Katee (heard on baritone) is currently working with the Dutch Swing College Band.

Pianist Hans Kwakkernaat and drummer Ben Schröder belong to a rare tribe: they don’t need a solo in every track, they play for the cause and are happy just to be part of a great band. The incredibly fleet-fingered Bassist Wiro Mahieu can play as fast as Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, but never forgets to keep time with a big, dark-brown sound.

Says Colette: ,,I selected cats who all have the same attitude towards music. They’re virtuosos on their instruments, but are not interested in displaying mere technique. What you hear, is their love for the music, for jazz, for their instruments, and the common desire to make the band sound good. No egos, just dedication and great musicianship.’’

The result of all this is the best record Colette ever made. A modern classic from a singer about whom I wrote in 2005, when she was the surprise star of the Amersfoort Jazz
Festival: ,, She has a voice like a luxuriously upholstered bridal suite. Pleasant, sumptuous, warm. Complete with exciting nooks and soft carpets in subdued shades.
Colette Wickenhagen, blossomed into the complete jazz diva with her elastic timbre, almost unlimited technique, playful improvisations, penetrating interpretation of the lyrics and remarkable radiation. She was beaming; she was whirling and dancing and seemed to want to hug all the spectators, one by one.’’

Jeroen de Valk, NL

A jazz writer since the 70s, De Valk is the author of biographies on Chet Baker and Ben Webster and Go Man, Go!, a colourful collection of jazz interviews.



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