Veronica Swift has achieved a level of musical maturity and success at twenty-five that most musicians would die for in a whole lifetime. The supremely gifted vocalist was born into music and shepherded into what has become an enviable career by her late father Hod O’Brien and other Stephanie Nakasian. It’s been a meteoric rise ever since her first album, Veronica’s House of Jazz (2004) was released when she was nine years old. Since then her music has traversed across the vast cultural topography of Jazz including breathtaking forays into the world of Swing and heart-stopping vocalastics that glorify the realm of Bebop and everything in between from the classic American songbook and more.
Anyone who has not yet not yet made her acquaintance has another opportunity to catch up to this musical sensation with the album, Confessions. Here is a performance by Miss Swift to treasure for a lifetime. The songs, as the repertoire clearly suggests, are emotional miniatures – some joyful, some bittersweet and others profoundly melancholy – and Miss Swift delivers each of the twelve works with affective ornaments, lightly articulated declamation and a carefully controlled vibrato. The result is what Heine might call “the poetry of emotion”. Tempos are justly chosen and appropriately given to the vocalist by the trios of Emmet Cohen and Benny Green (on three tracks) who are fully immersed in their idiomatic performances, providing icing on this most delicious cake. Meanwhile, Miss Swift’s lustrous recital is perfect in everything – from the pervasive melancholy to the joyful swing of “I’m Hip”.
Miss Swift’s brilliantly contrasting vocalastics and delicately sinewy tone colours bring dramatic intensity to the rhythmic textures and authentic lyricism of these works. She sustains the music’s intimacy and receives sympathetic support from Mr Cohen and his trio as well as Mr Green’s trio. It bears mention once more that this is an outstanding vocal release in which Miss Swift’s glorious voice deserves to be hugely celebrated for its expressive power and lively precision; it’s an album to die for…
Track list – 1: You’re Gonna Hear From Me; 2: A Little Taste; 3: Interlude; 4: Forget About The Boy; 5: A Stranger in Town; 6: I Don’t Wanna Cry Anymore; 7: I Hope She Makes You Happy; 8: Confession/The Other Woman; 9: Gypsy In My Soul; 10: No, Not Much; 11: I’m Hip: 12: No Regrets
Personnel – Veronica Swift: vocals; Emmet Cohen: piano (1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 12); Russell Hall: bass (1, 2, 4, 6, 9 – 12); Kyle Poole: drums (1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 12); Benny Green: piano (3, 7, 8); David Wong: bass (3, 7, 8); Carl Allen: drums (3, 7-8)
Released – 2019
Label – Mack Avenue Records (MAC 1149)
Runtime – 51:35