Jazz Improv's New York Jazz Guide
Kudos to Veronica Nunn for the fresh ideas that she’s introduced into her standards album. She brings each gem to life, singing the familiar refrains with respect while coloring them vividly with the paintbrush of a creative artist. We’re able to recognize our grandmother’s songs clearly with compassion, while coming into contact with African, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban rhythms that enhance the flavor.
Nunn sings standards with a warm composure that leads to a convincing argument. She delivers. Her duet with bassist Jennifer Vincent on “Honeysuckle Rose” casts a shadow far and wide. Alone with pianist Travis Shook on “I Hadn’t Anyone Till You,” she reaches out and grabs our emotions. She makes these standard songs her own, as she dances casually from tradition to the leading edge. “ That’s All” features a hot Afro-Cuban arrangement with syncopated piano and energized percussion. African drummer Sogbety Diomande joins the quartet for “Thou Swell,” creating a firestorm of activity. They pump new life into each of these standards. “A Foggy Day” features congas in a lovely outing designed to combine tradition with individuality.
For much of the session, Nunn prefers to interpret these songs the way they were originally conceived: with piano trio and a lot of love. Those timeless lyrics relate to all of us. On “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” for example, she communicates with her audience as an old friend who longs for your attention. At once familiar and yet complete with the trappings of a creative artist, Standard Delivery has something for everyone.
– Jim Santella