Dick Hermsen, Yes Jazz: 'Thaïsa Olivia Quartet at Theater De Muzenval':
'It’s already cozily crowded when you enter the auditorium of De Muzenval in Eersel, the Netherlands. Soft candlelight flickers on lushly decorated tables, providing exactly the right kind of ambiance for an exciting jazz concert. The program for the evening lists the Thaïsa Olivia Quartet. The booklet states that the leading lady of this quartet already shared the stage with great names from the international jazz scene, and also did an extensive three-year theatre tour in Germany with close harmony trio The Croonettes. Needless to say, expectations are high.
The quartet more than delivers the goods. Thaïsa has a gorgeous tone, occasionally silky smooth but also ready to go along with the power of her accompanying trio, when called for. Beautiful ballads take turns with up-tempo songs bursting with swing. The portion of original compositions is strikingly lovely, approximately half of the repertoire stems from the musical mind of the singer. Pretty songs, wrapped up in fresh arrangements. Fortunately, the quartet also is not afraid of revamping, witness a beautiful vocal version of ‘Cry Me a River’ accompanied by Sven Schuster on bowed upright bass. Pianist Christian Doepke excels in stunning, breathtaking solos and drummer Barry Olthof provides the swing as it should sound with this kind of music. The Thaïsa Olivia Quartet delivers an evening filled with sheer jazz fun. A night of vocal jazz at it's best.’ (English translation by Emiel Wienholts)
Sabina Vissers, Musiqmama:
'I know Thaïsa as a very capable and passionate jazz singer and bandleader. Her style is elegant and enticing, her singing inventive and compelling. She has a lot to offer for a broad audience!'
RakenDra Smit, Muziekwereld: Thaïsa Olivia Quartet - CD 'Let Go'.
'Singer Thaisa Olivia is a passionate interpreter of the Great American Songbook. On this cd, that repertoire is supplemented by a couple of excellent original compositions written by herself and her accompanists Ed Boekee on piano and Sven Schuster on upright bass. Joining in are Joost Kesselaar on drums and - on two tracks - Kurt Weiss on trumpet. The arrangements are skilful and elegant and performed as such by the musicians involved. The rendition of Hamilton's 'Cry Me a River' is striking, with solely Sven Schuster participating on upright bass. This leads to sloshed moments in his solo, where he makes his bass moan with uncontrollable harmonics, unorthodoxally intonated blue notes and other unsual pranks. With the clear sound of her voice, technical skills and the ability to musically interpret all moods involving letting go of loved ones, Thaïsa Olivia leaves us deeply impressed with her album'. (English translation by Emiel Wienholts)
Henk de Boer, Jazzclub Langs de Lijn:
‘(…) Thaïsa Olivia, an exceptional and fascinating singer...
She showed a lot of nerve, choosing pretty complex songs, yet managed to bring them into the limelight with a lot of flair, captivating her audience. At her side trumpeter Kurt Weiss, blowing calm yet fantastic, behind her the ever-listening Ed Boekee on piano, Sven Schuster with his solid bass lines and Joost Kesselaar grooving impetuously on drums. A true feast!’ (English translation by Emiel Wienholts)
L.V.Vehaskari, PhD, CEO (GVEditing Associates, "Keeping Your Voice in Your Manuscript") Thaïsa Olivia Debut at Preservation Hall in New Orleans, Louisiana:
“Silky smooth! Thaïsa Olivia pleasantly surprised and pleased the packed room with her spontaneous singing with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on a cold November rainy night in New Orleans. After respectfully introducing herself to the band members, they enthusiastically invited her to join them and this beautiful person wove her voice around the music intermingling Dixieland and her fresh professional silky downy voice. Impromptu singing with any unfamiliar band can often be much less than satisfying but Thaïsa’s voice blended and moved in sync with the old familiar Preservation Hall personages. Such a treat! We could do no better than hearing her more often…. Preferably here in New Orleans!”
Hans Frijling (‘Jazz Corner’) Thaïsa Olivia Quartet - CD 'Let Go'.
‘(...) My first impression of Thaïsa I would therefore like to describe as a “sophisticated lady”, with a lot of respect for her audience and the timeless repertoire of the great American composers of the first half of the previous century. (...) It certainly isn’t easy to perform songs that have already been interpreted by numerous vocalists and instrumentalists for several decades in an original manner, but in this case it has been done exceptionally well. (...) Especially “Cry Me a River”, arranged by bass player Sven Schuster and Thaïsa. The extremely slow tempo, the bowed bass and the sadness and pain Thaïsa manages to evoke, turn this song into a true gem. This also applies to her original song “How Do You Know”, (…) The melody, which is very pleasant to the ear, as well as the lyrics fascinate from beginning to end. This composition triggers my curiosity towards future songs, which hopefully will flow out of her pen’.
Hans Frijling ('Jazz Corner') Thaïsa Olivia Quartet - CD 'Let Go'. Complete version.
'The first thing that immediately attracts attention in this production are the beautiful and unique arrangements of so-called standards, to which all band members have contributed. It certainly isn’t easy to perform songs that have already been interpreted by numerous vocalists and instrumentalists for several decades in an original manner, but in this case it has been done exceptionally well. The new arrangements fit Thaïsa like a glove, especially “Cry Me a River”, arranged by bass player Sven Schuster and Thaisa. The extremely slow tempo, the bowed bass and the sadness and pain Thaïsa manages to evoke, turn this song into a true gem. This also applies to her original song “How Do You Know”, which I consider the absolute highlight of this album. The melody, which is very pleasant to the ear, as well as the lyrics fascinate from beginning to end. This composition triggers my curiosity towards future songs, which hopefully will flow out of her pen.
The entire album demonstrates a fine balance between often passionate vocals, especially in “With Every Breath I Take” and the accompaniment, with gorgeous solos by the band members, Ed Boekee on piano, Sven Schuster on double bass and Joost Kesselaar on drums. The tempo changes in some songs ensure the listener’s alertness and add extra pizazz to renditions of well-known classics.
Last, but certainly not least, the guest role of American trumpeter Kurt Weiss, who has toured with the late great Ray Charles among others, deserves mention. His contribution on two songs definitely adds to their atmosphere and eloquence. All in all an album that I will play many times, privately as well as in ‘Jazzcorner’ and ‘Moonlight Melodies’, my radio shows for RTV Amstelveen. I wish Thaïsa a lot of success with this beautiful cd and that each buyer will enjoy listening to it as much as I do.' (English translation by Emiel Wienholts)
Foto: Jan Willem Steenmeijer