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  • chrisdumigan

Koen Claeys :CD:Paint Me Blue

Updated: Apr 17, 2021

Paint Me Blue

Koen Claeys

KC2017 available from

Reviewed 17th December 2017

The Blue in the title refers to the music of course which is jazz based with pieces full of fruity harmonies and some surprisingly adventurous inclusions.

Jean Thielmans famous Bluesette as arranged by Roland Dyens really sets the benchmark with Claeys’ playing, for as anyone who has seen Dyens’ scores knows, they are far from easy. Claeys makes them seem easy!

Keith Jarrett’s Paint My Heart Red is a beautiful reflective work that fits superbly onto the guitar and is followed by the full eighteen minutes of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, originally for piano and jazz orchestra. This quite astonishing arrangement, to my great surprise, really works and, whereas Claeys has had to make certain decisions as to which notes to leave out, the right decisions seem to have been made. What playing!

The second Jarrett piece My Song is another beautiful piece admirably arranged by Claeys, and is followed by Ne Me Quitte Pas the famous song of Jacques Brel’s, its mournful harmonies and melody sounding wonderful. The only original guitar work, Brouwer’s Variations on a Theme of Django Reinhardt, based on Nuages, is next, and a great performance. Cole Porter’s Night and Day and Joe Pass’ version of it are placed together on a virtuoso workout with some astonishing chord changes along the way. The final piece, another astonishing Jarrett improvisation finishes off what is a very enjoyable CD full of wonderful performances from a truly gifted player.

Chris Dumigan

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