Sunday, November 27, 2011

Saxophonist Candy Dulfer Goes "Crazy" On New CD #jazz

When saxophonist Candy Dulfer steps onto the stage or into the studio, everything is immediately up for grabs and anything can happen. This sexy, high-energy vibe – seemingly out-of-control, yet always carefully calculated – is a direct result of her consistently hot and sweet confection of jazz, funk, R&B, soul, pop, techno and more. It’s a no-holds-barred recipe that has served her and her worldwide fan base well since her earliest recordings at the start of the 1990s.

Candy pushes the whole musical experience to the edge once again on her new recording, Crazy, set for release on, Tuesday, January 31, 2011, on Listen 2 Entertainment Group/Razor & Tie. The 13-song set includes numerous tracks co-written and produced by multi-instrumentalist Printz Board – whose mile-long list of credits includes musical director for the Black Eyed Peas for more than a decade, as well as work with a broad range of artists: Macy Gray, Mariah Carey, Sergio Mendes Gomez, Katy Perry, Burt Bacharach and dozens more.

“I wanted to return to working with Ulco Bed, a great guitarist and my songwriter partner since we were both very young,” says Candy, a native of the Netherlands and the daughter of jazz saxophonist Hans Dulfer. “We hadn’t recorded together for a long time, so I was looking forward to connecting with him again. But I also wanted to work with someone who could show me something new, something I’d never done before. When I met Printz, I knew right away that we could do something great together. I was surprised at how easy it was. I would put a beat down and just play a few licks, and it would be enough to inspire him to put together a whole chord sequence and write a song.”

It’s the kind of versatility and adaptability that comes from working with such a diverse spectrum of talent over the years. “I just go with the energy that’s in the room,” says Printz. “I try not to work with anybody whom I haven’t at least hung out with for a little while. I need a chance to get to know their energy and their personality. When Candy and I got started on this project, we knew the goal. We knew what we were going for. It just grew organically. I don’t think either of us knew what the end result would be, but we’re very excited with what it turned into.”

Like just about every other recording in Candy’s body of work, Crazy kicks off like a party. Literally! The opening track is a churning saxophone riff, supported by a swell of voices in full party mode. It all comes to a halt when a neighbor puts a damper on things by demanding some quiet.

Fat chance. The title track picks up where the noisy room leaves off, and keeps the intensity level well beyond the acceptable range of peace and quiet. Built on a call-and-response between Printz’s lyrics and Candy’s punchy alto riffs, the song is inspired by Printz’s recent heady experiences with a new romance. “You don’t know what to do with yourself,” he says. “You just want to see this person, and talk to this person, and hang out with them. The title is no mystery. I was just crazy about this woman.”

“Hey Now” starts in a midtempo groove, with generous doses of low-end electronic dance beats holding it together. “But there’s a moment when it really kicks into high gear and gets wild,” says Candy. “It’s that moment when I want people to say, ‘Wow, this is really something I didn’t expect. This is something amazing.’”

“Complic8ted Lives” is less about specific solos and parts, says Candy, and more about generating an overall mood. “It was just a really spontaneous track,” she says. “We made it in five minutes, but it was a beautiful song. It’s really about a specific feeling. You can take the vocals off and you can still hear what the song is about in the chord progression and in my saxophone work.”

Midway through the party, the neighbors are apparently getting increasingly frustrated. One tries to make a call, but there’s no hearing the phone amid the revelry.

The inspiration for “Electric Blue” originally came from the neon blue lights of Tokyo, says Printz. Candy adds quirky sax lines on top, while Printz inserts some slide instructions that culminate with the simply stated “Get your ass on the floor.” The throbbing backbeat dares the listener to defy the command.

Printz indulges his fascination with the vocorder on “Rocket, Rocket,” a track that morphs his voice into an electronic layer that merges seamlessly with his keys and Candy’s fresh alto licks. “We just recently started playing this live,” says Candy. “We didn’t know how it would go live, but we had people of every age dancing to this one.”

The riffs are still coming when the police arrive at the door, accompanied by the same irritated neighbor. Their efforts are apparently ineffective, because the music keeps coming for just a bit longer.

In the home stretch, it’s the sultry and suggestive “Please Don’t Stop,” followed by the “Too Close,” a quiet instrumental ballad that shifts the festivities into a more laid back vibe. Powered by a distinctly Euro groove,

“I’m very happy with this record,” says Candy. “It’s been a super-positive experience. In the last ten years, I was always in a safe environment with my own friends, and it was beautiful. This was a big leap for me, so it’s nice to see that the rewards for that risk were so great. It’s nice to be rewarded for taking risks. And on the other hand, reconnecting with Ulco has been great. It brought back a lot of beautiful memories. We realized that we can still make great music together.”

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