How is it that a Hildesheim-born bass-baritone best known for his stellar interpretation of Schubert lieder, Baroque cantatas and Bach can deliver a “Can’t We Be Friends” that rivals Anita O’Day’s and a “They All Laughed” that is Ella good? Perhaps because Thomas Quasthoff began singing in German jazz ensembles long before his study of classical music began, and has maintained a private passion for jazz ever since. Now, at long last, the 47-year-old Quasthoff, a triple Grammy winner, has made his professional return to those well-buried roots to present his first non-classical album. Quasthoff insists that when he sings jazz, “It sounds like jazz, not like classical music in the guise of jazz.” And, as demonstrated throughout the dozen tracks that fill Watch What Happens, he’s right.
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