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Song for Ma

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Album Review

Soesja Citroen's ability to personalize other artists' compositions is one of her strong points, but on Song for Ma, the Dutch singer's own compositions are the main focus. One of the few melodies on this excellent CD that Citroen didn't write herself was Thelonious Monk's "Crepuscule with Nellie," which she provides thoughtful lyrics for. This isn't the first time Citroen has embraced Monk's music with fine results — 1983's Soesja Citroen Sings Thelonious Monk, in fact, is among her most celebrated albums. Citroen writes the music and lyrics for ten of the CD's 14 tracks. The thoughtful nature of her English lyrics on "Lonely Street," "This Year's Spring," "Sun in the Morning," and other originals seems all the more impressive considering that Dutch, not English, is her native language. Produced by Chris Ellis, Song for Ma is highly recommended to lovers of post-bop jazz singing.


Born: The Hague, The Netherlands

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Although not well known in the U.S., Soesja Citroen is among Holland's top jazz singers and has commanded a lot of respect in European jazz circles. Her influences include Abbey Lincoln, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, among others, and she is an expressive interpreter of lyrics as well as a talented composer/lyricist. Though Dutch is her native language, Citroen's English is excellent--and she sings with only a slight trace of a Dutch accent. The vocalist was born and raised in...
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Song for Ma, Soesja Citroen
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