Though the Netherlands jazz scene has come to be known for the wacky postmodern exploits of musicians such as Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink, Dutch trumpeter Saskia Laroo has much more in common with her white-leather-clad, smooth jazzin' countrywoman Candy Dulfer (whose dad even guests on Laroo's recordings). Nevertheless, Laroo crosses over frequently and has demonstrated interest in music well beyond easy-on-the-ears funk. Her fusion work takes in contemporary dance and electronic music (acid jazz, trance, house), packs in the guest rappers, piles up the electric keyboardists, and features tunes with awful European approximations of African American hipness, with titles such as "Ya Know How We Do" and "If Ye Got It, Ye Get It." For the more traditional crowd, she leads a Latin jazz group and ventures into more straight-ahead territory on a pair of albums featuring American jazzmen, such as tenor saxophonist Teddy Edwards and bluesy vocalist Ernie Andrews. Miles Davis seems to loom large in Laroo's world (as Davis seems to for just about every young European trumpeter anymore). If the more populist twilight Davis inspires Laroo's rap/dance/keyboard blowouts, the lithe and lyrical Davis of the '50s also seems to have affected the trumpeter. Her Jazzakia album includes covers of such Davis-associated classics as "So What," "Bye Bye Blackbird," and "Blue in Green." An increasing presence on the European club and festival circuit, Laroo's multiple bands and Latin jazz/big fusion projects have yet to make much of an impression Stateside. Look for her to concentrate on standards and straight-up improv when she rolls into Nighttown.
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