2006 Songlines Festival kicked off on a hot Saturday
afternoon with an outstanding performance from
the Sydney jazz vocalist Virna Sanzone...
Gerard Masters on keys, Dave Hibbard on drums
and Alex Hewetson on bass, Virna stepped into
a lively bluesy number...allowiing her immediately
to display what deep vocal strength and technique
she posessed. This was followed by the rarely
heard Mose Alison number "What's With You"
performed with fine jazz style allowing Virna
to relax and take command of the gig. From then
on it was all plain sailing from a true professional
with polish and pure vocal definition.
fantastic rendition of "Compared To What"
was the highlight... Shining through all of this
was the voice, somewhat reminiscent of Aretha
Franklin in her finer earlier...years, yet delivered
in a style honed and perfected by a very talented
performer in her own right.
an...appreciative audience...Virna Sanzone delivered
a soulful and at all times passionate performance.
O'Sullivan, STIX - October 2006
Sanzone" Album Reviews
Sanzone, one of Sydney's most accomplished jazz
vocalists, puts an ample dash of soul into everything
she does. This, her long awaited and much anticipated
debut album is evidence of that, from the opening
tune to the last. Sanzone performs a beautiful
selection of jazz, gospel, soul and popular standards,
and includes a couple of originals that display
her fine skills as a burgeoning songwriter. Whether
capturing the fragility of a ballad like A Time
For Love or the deep gospel mood of I Wish I Knew
How It Would Feel To Be Free, Virna Sanzone's
voice is informed by her fine melodic sensitivity,
her sophisticated understanding of the jazz tradition
and above all, her characteristically rich, soul-drenched
voice floats over the lyrical and spacious arrangements,
delivered by a cast of subtle and perceptive musicians.
Most importantly, there is a strong sense of harmony
and mutual awareness between vocalist and band
– the interaction is at all times skilful
and very musical. This CD is a most satisfying
and uplifting listening experience.
Crittenden, Drum Media, 17/5/05
vocalist Virna Sanzone's self-titled debut CD
is mostly mainstream with a funky feel, plus a
sprinkling of ballads, but it's the slower numbers
that best demonstrate her purity of tone and vocal
range. In a style reminiscent of Carole King,
especially on King's original Surely ,
Sanzone delivers a diverse repertoire of songs
from Bruce Cockburn, Mose Alison, Cole Porter
and others. Backings, up to sextet size, are smoothly
provided by some of Sydney's top flight jazz players.
Exhilarating solos come from Sam Rollings on guitar
and recent winner of the prestigious Freedman
Fellowship Matt McMahon's always inventive piano.
These are polished arrangements – mostly
written by Sanzone – with precise swinging
from everyone. A standout track is the ballad
A Time For Love , on which Sanzone's
voice slides beautifully in graduated steps to
the upper register, and there's a tenderly compatible
solo from Phil Slater's trumpet.
McBeath, The Weekend Australian 24-25/9/05
is setting in. You can tell by the sheets of rain
pelting down the windows, the scarved-up couples
huddled over cups of coffee…all of which necessitates
a soundtrack of sorts to accompany said colder
climate. The debut solo album by Virna Sanzone
is just that: a gentle, soothing collection of
songs that lulls you into a drowsy state of homemade
soup comfort. Although a mixture of covers and
originals, the sparse, easy jazz stylings of Sanzone
keep the set cohesive, a stream of tinkered keys,
nodding bass and polite brushes. However, they
merely act as a hanger onto which Sanzone can
fling her voice. Of course, her smooth crooning
is not so much flung as sent lightly to dance
as it pleases, like dandelions in the wind… Virna
Sanzone is for when you're settling down
with a glass of red at the dinner party…while
that fire you lit for “mood” value crackles in
the corner. Virna Sanzone would and
should be played: In Borders and Starbucks nationally.
Huynh, BRAG 23/5/06
Sanzone sounds eerily similar to Norah Jones on
her self-titled debut album. Like Jones, Sanzone
achieves a soothing blend in
songs such as “April After All' and “A Time For
Love” by relying on melody and acoustic instruments.
She has chosen her backing musicians well. Their
skilful orchestration complements Sanzone's delicate
an era of Britney, Beyonce and other pop starlets,
Sanzone's restraint is a novelty and a welcome
Taylor, Sydney Central Courier 29/6/05
jazz singer Virna Sanzone's debut solo CD is a
joy. Her repertoire includes Ron Sexsmith's fine
"April After All". and it's sung beautifully
like all the others. Produced in association with
ABC Radio's Jazztrack Program.
Medicine - May 2005