Vocal CD of the Month Sony Holland: "Sanssouci" (Van Ness) 2010
Featuring: Sony Holland (vocals), Jerry Holland (guitars), Robbie Kondor (keyboards), David Hughes (bass), Kendall Kay (percussion) & Wolf Sebastian (cello) Recording Engineer: Mark Vincent Additional Engineering by Gary Griffin & Nolan Shaheed Mixing Engineer: Brendan Harkin Mastering Engineer: Erik Wolf Graphic Design: Chris & Terry Dudley Photo: Anthony Popolo
This enchanting CD, by LA-based singer Sony Holland, offers delightful moments that combine elegance, delicacy, sensitivity & musical joy, in reverence to music's subtler values. The lovely intertwining of lines, tempos and motifs abounds throughout the beautifully & inventively arranged 13 track-program, a perfect blend of standards (from the opener "My Foolish Heart" to the finale with the best vocal version of "My Romance" since Carly Simon's recording with Eddie Gomez & Steve Gadd 20 years ago) and originals by Sony's hitmaker (and multi-talented) husband Jerry Holland -- my personal favorite being "Little Tune," that sounds sooooo pretty!
Also noteworthy are Sony's renditions of Rufus Wainweight's title track "Sanssouci" and Carla Bruni's "Those Dancing Days Are Gone," composed (for her second album, "No Promises", from 2008) after a 1929 poem by William Butler Yeats. Not to mention Joseph Kosma's 1945 standard "Les Feuilles Mortes," sung firstly in French (with the original Jacques Prévert lyrics) and soon after with the English lyrics added by Johnny Mercer in 1947. The mixing of Sony Holland's soulful vocals with the sparse/ingenious instrumentation is pure pleasure.
Arnaldo DeSouteiro Jazz Station Blog
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"One of the most talented jazz singers in town, Sony Holland has the potential to sing a wide variety of music and improvise creatively in every idiom. On Sanssoucci, she sings several standards, a few obscurities, and five excellent songs by her husband guitarist Jerry Holland. Accompanied by Holland, keyboardist Robbie Kondor, bassist David Hughes, drummer Kendall Kay and occasionally the cello of Wolf Sebastian, the singer pays respect to the melodies and lyrics and keeps her renditions concise but definitive. Slower tempos are emphasized with her versions of “What A Difference A Day Made” and “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” (the most rewarding recording of the latter song in quite a few years) are among the highlights. This continually evolving artist is well worth seeing live too."
Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene