'At Last, ... A Woman With Sax On The Brain!'
Eagle Rock Entertainment, the leading independent source for high quality music audio/visual programming, released 'Candy Dulfer: Live at Montreux 2002,' a live performance at Europe’s most prestigious music festival from one of the most in demand saxophonists in pop music on DVD and CD this past September.
Dulfer and her band, Funky Stuff, blow through a set of cheerful funk barnstormers, tender ballads and smooth jazz to an appreciative audience. The DVD includes bonus material from her 1998 appearance at Montreux, where she plays her hit “Lily Was Here” and a cover of Average White Band’s funk evergreen “Pick Up The Pieces.”
Dulfer is perhaps the most famous Dutch musician in the world: one of her seven albums, Dulfer and Dulfer, was recorded with her father, tenor saxophonist Hans. She has played with Van Morrison, Pink Floyd, Aretha Franklin, Blondie, and most notably, Prince, whom she accompanied on his world-beating summer tour last year. Her last album, RightIn My Soul, included the #1 jazz radio hit “Finsbury Park.”
Chatting recently with Candy, I first wondered where did she think she would be today if it weren't for Prince inviting her into his 'Partyman' video?! "I certainly wouldn’t have learned so much as I did touring the world with him and his awesome bands. He’s my hero and I think I’ve become a better and more confident player because of him."
With such a musical background via your father and such, just how easy was it for an 11 year-old to hold a saxophone, let alone master one?! "I actually started playing when I was 6 years old, on a soprano sax. My father never pushed me, in fact I came to him and asked if I could play one of his saxophones (aside from playing he’s an avid collector and his den looks like a saxophone museum). From that moment on he’s always helped me in all kind of ways and I still turn to him for advice."
"We decided however after my first saxophone lesson that it would be better for me to find a different teacher than my dad since I already started to tell him what he was doing wrong after the first twenty minutes or so. I think I learned a lot by just watching my dad play, he’s the best! Also, I think saxophone is one of the most easy instruments for kids to start playing on, with much faster results then let’s say piano or violin."
What was it like, at the still young age of just 15 to be leading the Funky Stuff, whilst backing Madonna on part of her European tour?! "Since my father (and my mom as well) always taught me to be independent and to go for what I wanted it just felt very natural to me to be a bandleader at such a young age. It wasn’t until later that I realized that we had done something really big and it also taught me that you can even get Madonna fans to appreciate instrumental music."
What did the recording of your debut album Saxuality mean to you at the time ... and where did that title originate?! At that time I was only 19 and thought that we wouldn’t sell a lot of albums anyway, so I decided to just do what we wanted and give it a bit of a shocking title (actually a very common practice for a lot of jazz saxophonists who’d call their albums saxy or something in that vein. Of course they were men and nobody would think twice about that) so that it would at least get noticed by the press and we would get a review somewhere. I remember even my record company advising against the title saying people wouldn’t take me seriously as a player! Saxuality sold over a 1.000.000 copies so we must’ve done something right!"
Along the way, artists always have to take risks, so what has been the biggest risk that you have undertaken thus far? "I take risks everyday, saying no to a lot of things that might be really good for my career, but not for my mental health or my credibility, two things that I value very highly."
With the release now of your latest CD/DVD Live At Montreux, 2002, what memories have you of that performance ... and did anything on the day not exactly go according to plan?! "Well I think we played after D’Angelo, and that was one of the most memorable gigs I’ve ever seen in my life. After that we figured we could never top what we’d just witnessed so we actually went on very relaxed and that shows, and I think we did a pretty good job. The audience was amazing, really giving us an extra boost!"
What is your current musical relationship with Prince and will you ever record again with him? "Well, we did a wonderful tour in the US last year, and hopefully he’ll ask me again, I’ve been recording with him and playing live since 1998 and my heart still skips a beat when he calls to do a gig. I’m such a huge fan of his music."
What cheesy '80s song would you love to cover if asked ... and why?! "If I’m gonna tell you that somebody is going to steal my idea, no way mister!"
If you were asked to record a single for charity, and had to choose 3 other KNOWN musicians to aid you in the project, who would they be, what instruments would they play, and what would the name of the NEW song be?! "Well, I’d rather pay them and give my part to charity, because it would be so much fun for me it wouldn’t be fair to pay them nothing. Like Fred Wesley always says when he plays a good gig: “This gig was so much fun, I should’ve bought a ticket myself.” Here’s a list: Sheila E., Prince, Chaka Khan, Maceo Parker, Van Morrison, Dave Stewart, Mavis Staples, Jamie Cullum, James Brown, and David Sanborn! And the title would be 'MUSIC IS LOVE'."
Finally, I like Penguins, ... do you? "Yeah I think they’re cute, but it shouldn’t become an obsession, don’t you think?!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Candy's brand new CD, just answer this easy question: Candy's 1991 album Sax-A-Go-Go includes "Sunday Afternoon," a song by Prince, and also teams her up with some of her musical mentors on the horns ... but who are they?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new and AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before November 31st with your answer and the subject title 'CANDY DULFER SIGNED CDs' to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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