CD info
CD info


Album: Songs For Sale



Jan Rensen:

To whoever knows Colette Wickenhagen, or to whoever thinks he does ... all right then: at least to me ...
this cd comes as a great surprise. Colette was, after all, the embodiment of rhythm, of blues, of physical jazz
with an almost tangible impact. On this album, these aspects are still there, but something has been added.
Or better still: one aspect of her art is so much in the foreground that it rises above all other qualities: poetic eloquence. What I was used to in her music, was that it started you moving. The music on this cd makes you sit down and listen breathlessly. And later you realize that it started you moving anyway.
Colette asked me to put on headphones, be inspired by the atmosphere and then write tasty liner notes. I find I cannot. When I listen so intensely - and the music is such that the intensity only increases - words fall short. The joy in music, the sincere delight, refuse to be caught in a catchy text. So the following sentences are to be regarded as resulting from an emergency plan.
The first thing you notice when you pick up the cd box, is of course the repertoire. Fifteen run-of-the-mill,
one might almost say hackneyed, standards. But that is exactly the secret. Colette treats these songs as newly discovered finds. She recites the words and sentences as if from a treasured volume of poetry. She sings the melody as if it comes up spontaneously, perfectly fitting the rhythm and the words of the lyrics. Contradictory though it may seem, it is this almost pristine approach that evokes memories of the earlier tradition.
Memories of Sarah Vaughan now and then, and of Ella Fitzgerald. Fleeting, without emphasis, but the
connection is unmistakable. Colette's singing does not come across as an attempt at imitation or as all too emphatically influenced, but rather as expressing the heartfelt first experience of a new song and its meaningful content. Forget the run-of-the-mill, forget the overly known! That is exactly what Colette did and that is what places her on an equal footing with her illustrious predecessors. That is the connection we hear: authenticity.
I have now listened to the recordings several times and again and again I am struck by new details.
Those elusive, indefinable moments in timing, variation of melodic line, interaction with the contribution of
the saxophone ..., all aspects hard to describe for the guileless listener, but contributing to the distinctiveness of the music.
Of course Colette does not do this all by herself. Clous van Mechelen is such a fantastic counterpart and
the accompaniment of the trio is so solid and inspiring, that risky improvisations were simply bound to emerge.
But that these are invariably brought to a fascinating and successful conclusion is the merit of the singer
who has managed to surprise and captivate us once more.
  Henk Romijn Meyer:

In these dark days in December I’ve let myself
be melted away without effort with this Songs for
Sale CD - I acquired them all !
The songs radiate so much pleasure even though
they are sometimes sad – the pleasure that she
experiences from giving pleasure – as if she will
go on forever.
She takes them so convincingly in her own
direction, and Colette let’s us hear again why
classics are not called classics without reason.
She sings I got it Bad sadly but also in a way that
let’s you hear that she will get out of the deadlock
to grapple That Old Devil.
The Company, or rather the partnership with
Clous is ideal. He plays beautifully ‘rough’, for
instance in No More Blues – Colette sings more
lay back, and as if she could go on like this ‘till
the end of time!
I hope she makes it!

  HVT / René de Cocq:

Colette Wickenhagen has a certain reputation in the
circuit as an interpreter of a vital form of bluesy
jazz, or jazzy rhythm and blues. On this album she
chooses, under the care of saxophone
player/composer Clous van Mechelen, for a fairly
jazz directed approach, with a considerable
amount of guts but fortunately without
any form of pretension.
Wickenhagen has a pleasing ‘light brown’ voice
and commands an utmost striking form of timing.
Van Mechelen (also known for his many pastiche
productions together with Wim T. Schippers, think
back to the renowned period around Sjef van
Oekel and consorts, and the radio program
Ronflonflon) has come back to his old love, the
tenor saxophone, and let’s us hear that he hasn’t
lost the jazz trade.
The two, who sense each other very well, are
effectively supported by a ‘company’ existing of
pianist Nick van den Bos, double bass player
George van Deijl and drummer Menno
Veenendaal. The wheel of the vocal jazz is not
reinvented, but it rolls very smoothly.

  Bussum / Langs de Lijn / Henk de Boer:

Colette Wickenhagen, who is blessed with a phenomenal voice, forms together with Clous van Mechelen, who’s saxophone playing even when he plays quietly let’s us hear the underlying power, a good couple. If there is ever talk about synergy it must be here. On top of this they are supported on a high level by the varied talented Nick van den Bos on the piano, George van Deijl on the double bass and Menno Veenendaal on the drums, who adapt effortlessly to all the soloists escapades.

Both operate with a large assortment of expressions and with this it is not music that whiffs by like a summer breeze, but instead claims all attention. What I especially like is the spectacular way in which Clous’s tenor supports the singer, sometimes with beautiful ‘tone-carpets’ in the background or in caught up duets in which both of them let us hear that they indeed can play in very different registers. Colette also convinces us that she can scat.

The choice of the 15 songs gives us a lot to recognize without giving you the feeling that it is mainly a standard repertoire. One third is from the giant Cole Porter including the (almost) title song Love For Sale, but apart from that there are songs from Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Carlos Jobim and Jon Hendricks. Here nothing of the refined distinction of Nancy Morano, but more a delicious swinging fiery blanket that covers you nice and warm…


There are those discs which you can never get
enough of. 2CC & Company are together
responsible for this crown jewel. More then an
hour the most beautiful disc that appeared this
year from these Dutch jazz artists.
Fifteen wonderful songs with more then excellent
singing from Colette Wickenhagen. Once I Loved
and Love For Sale are the grand crown jewels of
this CD but also the other songs are really worth
listening. Enjoy the sound of 2CC & Company.


Muziekpodia.nl / Jan Klupper:

Colette & Clous
2003 Munich records BV
Musicians: Clous van Mechelen (s), George van Deijl (b), Nick van den Bos (p),
Menno Veenendaal (d) and the great Colette Wickenhagen (vocal).

May we say that; the great Colette? Absolutely. Her enthousiasm and dedication to
music has produced a professional mainstream-jazz album from our own soil.
With ease and a great feel for rhythm Colette sings standards from a. o. Cole Porter.
“Night And Day” for instance and “Love For Sale” which obviously links to the title of this CD. The interaction between the musicians makes listening to this music exciting and inspiring. Immediately in the first song: “Once I Loved” you can hear that the mix with the Bossa Nova, and the influence of Stan Getz are there. All well-known but still unique, because all of the musicians dare to improvise and approach the songs in their own way. In contrast to her first CD, this one is also meant as easy background music, but you can still really sit down for it. On their own, the band has steady full arrangements, enough to really enjoy. The pure, warm and nuanced voice of Colette, as a pleasurable sound-fragrance, is definitely an added value.
(editor MuziekPodia)


Hungary / Czékus Mihály


The “mysterious” abbreviation Colette & Clous hides the names of the Dutch duo Colette Wickenhagen and Clous van Mechelen. In 1986, Colette exchanged the professional world of dance productions for that of a jazz/blues singer. In the last more than 20 years, she performed with all kinds of formations (duo, trio, quartet, quintet, sextet and big band).

The saxophone player Clous van Mechelen has been a central figure within the Northern-European jazz-scene for a very long time. You will find his name on this album “Song for Sale” as a musician, producer and sound engineer.

The album counts a 15 numbered, with care put together collection of jazz standards. The title of the album is an allusion to the song “Love For Sale” by Cole Porter – also in this album. In the collection the songs of Porter are in the majority, five compositions are of his name. Besides Porter there are songs from Hendricks (“No More Blues”), by Ellington (Ï Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good”) ‘till Holliday (“That Old Devil Called Love”) from almost every “big one” there is something to listen to.

The band is imbued with enthusiasm. The listener doesn’t really realize where he is on the ‘ladder of presence’, because the band makes it seem very live-like. Sometimes everything seems so true to live, that the listener makes the mistake of gesticulating to the waiter for a glass as if he’s in a hot jazz club. The “Songs For Sale” CD is a good example for showing/hearing how many new colours and possibilities still lay hidden in the uncountable variations of jazz evergreens already out there.

Original Hongarian review: HIFI PIAC Portál and on this site see reviews (link on top of this page).


Brasil / Marcelo Tchechenistky

CD – Songs For Sale / Colette Wickenhagen & Clous van Mechelen.

It is difficult to start talking about someone on an artistic journey, who, I think, reaches clear perfection. I speak in this review of COLETTE WICKENHAGEN. The sound of her voice reminds me of those unforgettable Negro female voices from the foundation of the vocal jazz and, in addition, she develops it with an impressive feel for "swing", characteristic for this music of marginal origin, to such a degree of freedom, that her choice for this form of expression commands respect. Colette, in this CD, chose standards that allow her to exhibit that freedom so that, paradoxically, it really touches us. I asked myself, while listening time and time again to this delicious music, if Miss Colette wouldn’t like to explore new roads outside the traditional Jazz, I consider her mastery of this style obtained. She doesn’t do this alone. The group that accompanies her, these four brilliant musicians, make of this CD a masterpiece and they are an example for many vocalists who, wanting to innovate, lose track. I state: Colette is a great one. She deserves to be classified among the select group of Best Jazz Singers in this present time. She is accompanied on this CD by Clous Van Mechelen on saxophone, Nick van den Bos on piano, Menno Veenendaal on drums and George van Deijl on double bass, also executing accordion and vibraphone when it is required. They reach the ideal frame for accompanying Colette. I recommend you to enjoy, especially as an appetizer, “Frim Fram Sauce”, “Night and Day”, and “Can’t we be friends”. Unforgettable. Make sure you get it, the best present you can buy for someone else or for yourself.