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CD Reviews

  1. Jazzflits
  2. Ntb muziekwereld
  3. Musicmaker

Concert Reviews

  1. Lalu Hameln
  2. Taraxacum Leer
  3. Kulturspeicher Leer
  4. Jazztone Lörrach-Badische
  5. Jazztone Lörrach_Oberbadische

"Juzz Flirtin" is the exceptionally listenable result of a rendezvous between vocalist Léah Kline and pianist/composer Dirk Balthaus. A meeting that caused musical sparks. Her lyrics inspired his music and vice versa. It's obvious to hear that the American Léah Kline, who lives in the Netherlands since 2000, has her roots in the theater (singing, dancing and cabaret). Her narrating qualities are impressive and inviting. The playing of the band (Dirk Balthaus piano, Cord Heineking doublebass, Sebastiaan Kaptein drums and Yuchi Cordoba percussion) perfectly supports this. Even in the musical accompaniment the "story telling" is emphasized. Ingenious arrangements, intentionally intense intermezzos and playful solos give the numbers extra cachet and support the lyrics in an all round excellent manner. Kline is a vocalist of scale. Out of many examples, the vulnerably sung 'Minuano' (music Pat Metheny, lyrics Kurt Elling), is proof of this fact. She possesses a good diction, a beautiful alto timbre, feel for dynamics and timing plus an excellent technique. The Cd consists of numbers in up-tempo and swing but also ballads and jazzy arranged, more or less theatrically colored titles with funk and Latin influences. A not to miss flirt!

Published in Jazzflits year 5, number 10 (2007) © Frank A. Huser

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Ntb Muziekwereld

This CD is the result of the cooperation between text lyricist/singer Léah Kline and composer/pianist Dirk Balthaus. With bassist Cord Heineking, drummer Sebastiaan Kaptein and percussionist Yuchi Córdoba, they play eleven pieces, mainly own work and two covers by Pat Metheny/Lyle Mays and Curtis Lundy. We hear a tight ensemble, which cover down all areas in jazz & funk. Lightly and with dexterity they accompany singer Léah Kline who knows how to flirt with her performance. Her sharp and sometimes provoking intonation is a delight for the ear. In a subtle manner she knows how to seduce, to captivate and naturally grab the attention of the listener. Due to her dancing and acting experience she presents herself and her songs with great feeling for entertainment. The well cared for sound production and artwork complete this album  in his entirety. Key-words: suspense, refinement and playfullness.

Ntb muziekwereld Number 3 2007

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An acoustic jazz band that plays pop songs, is the best way to describe JuzzFlirtin. Fortunately they've found a sound that's considerable more raw than most of the jazz/pop  fusion attempts of the last years. He who expects cozy, pop tinted, by the fire jazz à la Norah Jones will come away unsatisfied.  The solid rhythm section consists of a well-recorded double bass, acoustic piano, drums and an additional percussionist. Keyboarder and arranger Dirk Balthaus laid down in the studio here and there nice dirty organs and Rhodes-parts, and Kline grabbed also the opportunity to dub in backing-vocals and doubled some of the leads. The purist listener might not value the astronomy course sounding out in the lyrics: Wizards, lightning, darkness, "synergy", "matter" and a parallel universe race by. And there is talk of a potion red and white. "All I have left is headache severe (...) Where is the wizard?' Sounds just like a hangover after a night of drugs and alcohol. Rock'n & Roll!


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Flirt , charm and more
Music from classical to Caribbean
JuzzFlirtin in Lalu, Hameln, Germany

By Andrea Gerstenberger
Concert in Lalu in Hameln

Friday evening, is "jazz club time" in the Lalu - a date, which creates high expectations. And the faithful fans of this club were not disappointed. Again Jobst Walter Dietz had proven his steady hand in getting very special something to come to Hameln with JuzzFlirtin: a German-American formation stood on the stage, which cannot be pressed into a specific category. Dirk Balthaus, pianist and musical leader created and presented a voluminous music program. Its compositions flirted with the listeners and with the most diverse of styles and directions. Included were classical jazz y numbers like "Orange Blossoms in Summertime" and "The Wizard". This last one had the addition of Caribbean percussion and hurricane-like sounds. At the beginning of this number Percussion and bass joined in for the initial "storm" and before one could blink, Yuchi Córdoba and Etienne Nillessen played themselves into a true intoxication. The duel between Drums and Percussions was a fireworks display expressing the joy of two full blooded musicians. They pulled along the others in such a way that the bass, by Cord Heineking, began to dance. Even if in most numbers the piano with its bright tones was in the foreground, the secret star Yuchi Córdoba shined. He played the atmosphere parts with not only Bongos and Congas but with a multiplicity of other instruments as well.
With poetic and audacious lyrics
The star in the footlights was the singer Léah Kline. The American made the evening complete emitting radiance and perfection in her expression and voice . She did not only sing of it, She was "The Voice". She and Dirk Balthaus demonstrated blind trust and understanding not only in their presentation, but also in the creation of the music. Léah Kline is marvelously poetic and brazen in the creation of her charming lyrics, which tempted us again and again to fully concentrate and enjoy listening to the rhythm. It is just a shame that many jazz friends had obviously underestimated this concert - such high-quality international live music does not come knocking daily at your doorstep.

Dewezet, 24. Feb 2008

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Songs with great emotion
CONCERT Léah Kline at Taraxacum, Leer, Germany

With an exceptional (and) sensual voice Léah Kline charmed about 90 visitors at the "Taraxacum" Invited by concert promoter Karl-Heinz Krüger she starred with German pianist Dirk Balthaus as "JuzzFlirtin" in Leer. Their music moves between Jazz, Funk and Latin. It is supported by percussion instruments as well as by piano sounds. Especially because of the singing of the American the compositions seemed to reach higher spheres. Next to own pieces Balthaus and Kline interpreted together with their fellow musicians also instrumental covers from Jazz giants like Pat Metheny. Kline added lyrics (by Kurt Elling) and made the song her own. She made the air tremble, a sultry atmosphere provided the right mood for flirting. The name is program. The visitors were fascinated by the expressive presence of the attractive singer who reminds with her voice a little bit of Sade.

Februar 2008

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Concertreview Kulturspeicher, Leer and Interview in Jazzcorner, Radio Ostfriesland, September 2008

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I presented a lot of singers in the last 40 concerts but you are a class of your own, period.
Ben Bönniger, drummer
Everything you people did was highly appreciated and we all bought your fantastic CD and have listened to it for hours.
Hans Balner, pianist
Excellent site! Summery music, really great!
Karel Kuiper, fan
Just wanted to say thank you so much for giving us a good time last night in Paris. Wicked gig you guys! Keep up, keep up! I hope to share a stage with you once... Best, Roy
Roy Marouvin, musician

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