The Jazz Album
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Reseña de álbum
The great German bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff has done some astonishing things in his career, even appearing on-stage in the role of Amfortas in Wagner's Parsifal. This, though, has to be the widest left turn that Quasthoff has made yet, a "jazz" album of 12 American pop standards. Yeah, sure, other classical singers have done it, often with crossover dollars or Euros in mind, almost always with laughably pompous, treacly or condescending results. Quasthoff claims that he had experience singing jazz per se early in his career, but so did singers like Kiri Te Kanawa and Renée Fleming — neither of whom sound convincing in pop.
So how does Quasthoff manage to succeed in this venture where others do not? For one thing, there is nothing resembling operatic or lieder feeling in his delivery. His English diction is perfect, and yet his rich, deep, resonant timbre is intact, arrestingly so. Herb Jeffries or Johnny Hartman are the closest reference points, but Quasthoff doesn't copy either of them. When Quasthoff raises his voice to a big climax on Stevie Wonder's "You And I," he doesn't sound like a classical singer; there's a edge and grit at the top that an impassioned pop vocalist would be more likely to bring. He doesn't improvise, but he can comfortably bend a swinging inflection now and then; one imagines that he has imbibed heavily from the fountain of Sinatra. The only serious criticism is that sometimes Quasthoff's treatment of the line sounds a bit stiff and unyielding. Perhaps if he had recorded in the same room with the band, the real-time contact with real-life jazzers would have loosened him up some. In any case, Quasthoff gets a first-class production from Till Brönner, who also contributes some crackling or moody-Miles trumpet solos in spots. The arrangements feature either a studio big band or the luxurious Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, with Alan Broadbent (who redeems "Secret Love" with an appealing bossa nova treatment) and Nan Schwartz exchanging chart action, spelled by Steve Gray's New Orleans second-line jiggling of "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive." ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi
Reseñas de clientes
Thomas Quastoff ""Watch What Happens""
What a novel idea. A Bass Soloist. Not only that but singing in an era that I recognize. Something with good taste is so rare these days. Not only that but in a jazzy swing tone. Wow! I love it and will applaude the courage to produce an album that people can actually enjoy listening to. So grateful to hear songs that were written back when they were still writing songs and lyrics. I submit that this artist is actually normal. He looks normal. I see a decent haircut. No tatoo's. No rings in the ears. My my my. Must be somthing wrong with him..(sorry for the sarcasm)
This is by far the best singing and album arrangment in a long time. You and I is the best song I have heard done in a long ,long time
Genuine Jazz Singing
Many have loved Quasthoff for his mastery of the Geman lieder tradition - he's a worthy successor of Fisher-Diskau mantle. Here, he tuns his plumby bass-baritone on the American Songbook with surprisingly success. I defy anyone to listen to his take on My Favorite Valentine and not be amazed by the guy's chops and musical taste. Quasthoff doesn't sound like he's a concert artist trying to sound "down" with the funk of jazz - he soulds like a serious student of the idiom and for me, I am impressed and moved. Listen to the man ascend the climax of Stevie's You and I; the man has soul!
Nacido/a: Hildesheim, Germany, 09 de noviembre de 1959
Años de actividad: '80s, '90s, '00s
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