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Album Review

Veronica Swift: Confessions

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Veronica Swift: Confessions
A born be-bopper, it's literally impossible not to love the energy that 25 year old Veronica Swift brings to her game. Soulfully infused with an infectious passion for jazz past and future, she is building a grand foundation for a long and colorful career, guaranteeing plenty of great performances and listenings along the way.

So it is certain that it is no accident that she opens her raucous and ballsy Mack Avenue Records debut Confessions with Andre and Dorie Previn's "You're Gonna Hear From Me." "Move over sun 'n give me some sky," she declares with a gleeful defiance, kicking off a joyride that doesn't roll often: demanding and commanding your undivided attention for her talent's sake, not for her fashions, her passions, or her Twitter feed.

Daughter of celebrated jazz vocalist Stephanie Nakasian and late be-bop pianist Hod O'Brien, Swift comes by it all most naturally and the music fits her like a second skin. Handling all twelve expressive arrangements with a youthful, carry-you-away zest, each performance becomes its own highlight reel. Johnny Hodges's "A Little Taste," is fashioned as a playful seduction. From the Thoroughly Modern Millie songbook comes "Forget About the Boy," an exuberant pop/rhumba plaything played with Broadway precision by the equally formidable Emmet Cohen: pianist superb Emmet Cohen, bassist Russell Hall, and drummer Kyle Poole. Cohen and company empower eight of the twelve tracks, while the other four keynotes, including the sumptuous "Interlude," Swift's own cool, sparkling angsty throwback "I Hope She Makes You Happy" and the intense late-night medley of Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz's "Confession" and Jessie Mae Robinson's "The Other Woman," are brought to lively, vigorous life by the dynamic shadings of pianist Benny Green and his compatriots, drummer Carl Allen and bassist David Wong, while Swift sings with a heartbreaking blues melancholy beyond her years, a skill she channels as easily as she breathes, exemplified again on the coupling of Mel Torme's "Stranger In Town" and Victor Schertzinger's Billie Holiday gem "I Don't Wanna Cry No More."

The street crackling hipness of "I'm Hip" and the saucy assurance of "No Regrets" only proves further Swift brings it all to fore, conjuring Ella Fitzgerald with her easy scatting, Sarah Vaughn with her natural timing, Anita O'Day for attitude and humor, and Ethel Waters for the sheer force of her personality. It's all here waiting for you to be heard in Confessions.

ps: Veronica Swift's ascendancy consist of: It's Great To be Alive! (Snob, 2007), Birdland Big Band (Birdland Records, 2017), Then and Now Benny Green (Sunnyside, 2018) and her debut Veronica's House of Jazz (Snob, 2004).

Track Listing

You’re Gonna Hear From Me; A Little Taste; Interlude; Forget About The Boy; A Stranger in Town; I Don’t Wanna Cry Anymore; I Hope She Makes You Happy; Confession/The Other Woman; Gipsy In My Soul; No, Not Much; I’m Hip: No Regrets.

Personnel

Veronica Swift: vocals; Emmet Cohen Trio: Emmet Cohen, piano; Russell Hall, bass; Kyle Poole, drums (1, 2, 4-6, 9-12); Benny Green Trio: Benny Green: piano; David Wong: bass; Carl Allen: drums (3, 7-8).

Album information

Title: Confessions | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Mack Avenue Records


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