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CANDY DULFER : It’s Dutch Treat With Debut LP, ‘Saxuality’

“Lily Was Here,” one of the rare instrumentals to become a Top 20 hit single, is full of the kind of funky, R&B;/jazz instrumentals 21-year-old Candy Dulfer listened to growing up--in Amsterdam.

“My father is a jazz musician who plays sax,” Dulfer, 21, said during a recent Los Angeles visit. “There were saxes and sax music around the house all the time. I got hooked. I was 7 when I picked up the sax.” The single, which features Dave Stewart, is from her debut album “Saxuality " (on Arista).

When she started playing, she immediately zeroed in on jazz and R&B.; “When sax is played right on an R&B; tune, it gives me chills,” said Dulfer, shivering for emphasis.

She acknowledged that being the lone prominent woman in a genre dominated by men 10 to 20 years older has its advantages. “I’m sort of a novelty,” she conceded. “If I was a guy with the same ability, I wouldn’t be here doing this interview about my success.”

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When it comes to blowing her own horn, Dulfer is a bust. “I’m not that happy with my playing just yet,” she admitted. “I don’t think it’s on very high level.”

She was being too hard on herself. Actually, she’s quite adept at playing R&B;/funk in the style of ‘60s stars like King Curtis, Junior Walker and her idol Maceo Parker, who gained fame in James Brown’s band.

Dulfer was good enough to be leading her own band by 14. A few years later, she recorded an album for the European market that was picked up by Arista for U.S. release.

Her aspirations, though, go beyond R&B;/funk. “I’m working at being a competent jazz musician,” Dulfer said. “But I’m so far from that goal it’s scary.”

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