Cadence Magazine (August 2007)
Veronica Nunn's choices of material go back to the Twenties ("Thou
Swell") but there is nothing formulaic or consciously retrospective
here. Rather, she takes each song on its own terms and considers what
its lyrics might mean, an idea so simple (and effective) as to seem radical.
The result is a charming simplicity that makes even music as overdone
(it once used to be overdone – now, in this deprived century, who
can tell?) as "Surrey" fresh. The arrangements are quietly
thoughtful as well – the same "Surrey" has gratifying
spaces for Sawyer's drums. A quietly warm "For Sentimental Reasons" is
emotionally convincing; her prancing "A Foggy Day" is a playful
evocation of the sun coming through those UK clouds. Nunn's rhythmic
spices – Cuban, Brazilian, and
African – also lift this program beyond the predictable.
Her accompanying trio never calls attention to itself, but they summon
up some of Nat Cole's instrumental precision and gliding motion. Listen,
for instance, to what Shook, Vincent, and Sawyer do in the first chorus
of "Where or When," and their subtlety continues when Nunn
begins to sing. Happily, she doesn't overact, nor does she copy old Holiday
licks while hanging far behind the beat. Her enunciation and intonation
are a reproach to better-known singers. She has a caressing voice, a
natural rhythmic lilt, and she respects her material (even when she seems
to make fun of its familiarity in the giddy liner notes).
- Michael Steinman