Even if we would call Colette Wickenhagen just a singer, we wouldn't do het any justice at all. Even if we don't see her, if we only listen to the music on this cd, we can hear that she does a lot more than just use her vocal cords.
She is one piece of dynamite that can make any stage rock and ex-plode. She just forces the audience to listen. In vieuw of the varied course of her career, it is not so strange. She studied successively at the Conservatoir in The Hague (NL), the Arts Educational Scool in London / Tring Park (GB), at the renowned (amongst ex-students the cherished as well as notorious) Nel Roos Academy and the Art of the Cabaret Academy in Amsterdam.
Furthermore she worked as a dancer with the ballet company Intro Dans (NL), as an actrice in the tv-series "De weg naar Peruwelz" (TROS / NL), as a Dramatic Arts & Musical teacher at cultural centres in Nijmegen and Harderwijk (NL) and as a singer in her own ensembles as well as in other peoples bands, ranging from trio's to big bands.
Of course she brings this enormous amount of stage experience with her; she knows how to move, how to send the right mimicry, in short she knows how bodylanguage can enhance her musical expression.
Still, while performing she gives a lot more than just a professional sophisticated show; she gives herself.
That enormous physical expressiveness, the willingness to throw herself deeply into a song, the art of swingingly taking in tow a full concert hall, is part of her being. From the top of her head to the tip of her toes, she ís music.
Even if we have to "make do" with just listening to this cd, she is an almost tangible presence. Especially since she won the Soloist / Polaroid Award in 1990 together with the Big Band Nijmegen, and was awarded the Breukelen Jazz Award in 1992, people often asked in vain about a cd of this impressive singer. The cd was ofcourse recorded 'live' in the intimate jazz club atmosphere of the eminent CNM Studio in Hilversum (NL), situated in a stylishly altered farmhouse.
It is only logical that Colette Wickenhagen in her choice of repertory had a preference of songs that fit in with her extrovert radiation; bob-pieces saturated in blues like the swinging "Love me or leave me", the overly well known but still freshly interpreted "Cheek to Cheek", the humorous "I was born to be blue", or the passionate and in a somewhat slower tempo sung "Nature Boy". But also real ballads fit well into her program. You only have to listen to "Billie's Blues", (it is no coincidence that the word blues was used in the title of this cd) or with the slightly latin touch brought "The Shadow of your Smile".
After the warmly coloured "'Round Midnight" with the melancholy sound of Jan Verwey's mouth-organ - which is the last song on this cd - there's only óne possibility left; to just start the cd all over again.