by Paul Liberatore | email@example.com | IJ correspondent - Marin Independent Journal
PUBLISHED: January 11, 2018 at 2:34 pm | UPDATED: July 18, 2018 at 11:51 am
On “Take a Deep Breath,” one of the original songs on her new album, “Soft Power,” jazz singer-songwriter Sony Holland wonders “what good is life if you’re worried to death?”
A good question, and one way to put your worries on hold would be to chill out, lay back and listen to this mellow mix of tasteful covers, tuneful originals and classics from the Great American Songbook.
Backed by a spare jazz trio — bassist Dan Feiszli, drummer David Rokeach and the flawless guitar work of her husband, Jerry — she sets her sensual voice in intimate arrangements of intelligently selected covers of Bob Dylan’s “All I Really Want to Do,” Bruce Springsteen’s poignant “Streets of Philadelphia” and Joni Mitchell’s intoxicating “A Case of You.”
She takes a big chance lacing six of her originals among brilliant tunes by those all-time greats, but her songs more than hold their own. Tracks like “Best Defense” and “Song of the Year” and “L.A. of My Dreams” sound sweet and fresh and smart, like they belong in that rarified company.
She brings her same coolly passionate approach to standards like “Time After Time” and the too-often covered Henry Mancini war horse “Moon River.”
With “Soft Power,” Holland makes easy listening very hard to resist.
-- Paul Liberatore