Marieke Koopman makes her jazz recording debut on Chapter One. She is certainly a fearless singer as she shows on the opener, a high-powered version of “Just One Of Those Things.” She shows so much energy and enthusiasm that she almost overpowers everyone else on the song, but as this album progresses, she becomes a bit more subtle while never losing her assertiveness. Ms. Koopman has an attractive voice and shows a desire to sometimes reinvent the melodies a little (as on “Stardust”) but usually digs into the lyrics even while swinging hard.
She is joined by a nonet on half of the songs with arrangements provided by Anton Burger, Jasper Staps, and Thomas Welvaadt. The charts are often quite witty and contain many surprises including the musicians verbally answering Koopman’s singing on a medium-up version of “The More I See You” (a little like the famous version of “Marie”), quoting regularly from “In The Mood” on one of the other songs, and turning “With A Song In My Heart” into a ragged romp. For variety, the singer is showcased on three duets and five songs with just the rhythm section.
Chapter One is an impressive start for Marieke Koopman’s jazz career. This album will grow on listeners who can get beyond the high energy of the opener and appreciate her individuality.
Since 1975 Scott Yanow has been a regular reviewer of albums in many jazz styles. He has written for many jazz and arts magazines, including JazzTimes, Jazziz, Down Beat, Cadence, CODA, and the Los Angeles Jazz Scene, and was the jazz editor for Record Review. He has written an in-depth biography on Dizzy Gillespie for AllMusic.com. He has authored 11 books on jazz, over 900 liner notes for CDs and over 20,000 reviews of jazz recordings.
Yanow was a contributor to and co-editor of the third edition of the All Music Guide to Jazz. He continues to write for Downbeat, Jazziz, the Los Angeles Jazz Scene, the Jazz Rag, the New York City Jazz Record and other publications.