Wilma Baan: Look At Me Now!

Dutch singer, a former nurse, does standards in a set produced by Claire Martin and including Graham Harvey, Nat Steele and Nigel Price

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On this, her second album, Wilma Baan confirms first impressions that she is a first-class singer with a warmly mature voice. Her selection of songs also demonstrates that she admires not only the Great American Songbook (Oh! Look At Me Now, A Beautiful Friendship) but also those from the jazz world (Waltz For Debbie, Born To Be Blue), and is prepared to present lesser-known works that clearly deserve the attention they receive here (The Great City, Somewhere In The Hills).

It’s good also to hear familiar songs that recently haven’t had all the attention they deserve (Old Devil Moon, The Windmills Of Your Mind). On this last-named song, Baan’s excellent quality of diction is vividly apparent and it is hard to think of better interpretations.

Born and raised in The Netherlands, over the years Baan has become well known throughout Europe and it appears that she is presently based mainly in the UK and should attract the attention she clearly deserves. Attention should also be drawn to the involvement here of producer Claire Martin who is doing a great deal of invaluable work with singers. Doubtless, Martin is also responsible for keeping the session very much a jazz date, bringing in as Baan’s accompanists pianist-arranger Graham Harvey, bassist Jeremy Brown and drummer Sebastiaan de Krom, along with guests flugelhornist/trumpeter James McMillan, vibraphonist Nat Steele, guitarist Nigel Price and percussionist Tristan Banks.

An aspects of Baan’s life and career worthy of mention is that she has had a career in nursing and earlier in life had to overcome a hearing impairment. This is an excellent album by a very good singer who deserves to be heard by a wide audience. Very warmly recommended.

Discography
Oh! Look At Me Now; The Windmills Of Your Mind; Somewhere In The Hills (Favela); The Great City; Waltz For Debbie; The Day It Rained (Chuva); Old Devil Moon; Bein’ Green; Born To Be Blue; When In Rome; Never Let Me Go; A Beautiful Friendship (48.27)
Baan (v); Graham Harvey (p, arr); Jeremy Brown (b); Sebastiaan de Krom (d); plus guests James McMillan (flh, t); Nat Steele (vib); Nigel Price (g); Tristan Banks (pc). London, 2022.
ECN Music BA002