Review of Standard Delivery


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


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