Veronica Klaus

Veronica Klaus: Lee a la V

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Artist: Veronica Klaus

Artist: Veronica Klaus
Title: Lee a la V

'Lee a la V' A Peggy Lee Songbook: Veronica Klaus with The Tammy L. Hall Quartet The warmest thanks, gratitude and admiration, of course, go to Miss Peggy Lee. Her recording and writing career spanned much of the 20th Century and is a rich and varied catalog. These songs were either written, co-written or recorded by Peggy Lee in the years from 1942 to 1993 and are some of my favorites. We hope you enjoy! Liner Notes from 'Lee a la V - Veronica Klaus with the Tammy L. Hall Quartet - A Peggy Lee Songbook' by Robert Strom, author of 'Miss Peggy Lee, A Career Chronology' Here is Veronica Klaus singing songs that require a talented actress, seductive chanteuse and the abilities of a jazz singer. All of these skills are required because she is performing songs long associated with one of her favorite artists, Miss Peggy Lee. Happily for us, Veronica, like Peggy Lee, has all of these gifts and the talent to make familiar songs fresh, tasteful and intelligent. She doesn't set out to imitate Lee.. For how could she? Lee was so distinctly Lee; the approach, the deep-rooted sense of rhythm and the immediately recognizable voice. Veronica needn't copy these because she has her own distinct sense of self that shines through Peggy's music. The savvy selection of material from Lee's vast catalog speaks volumes. Her choices supplying us with everything we need to evoke Peggy Lee's images; the heartfelt He Needs Me, the slinky Some Cats Know, the blue-tinged regret of I Lost My Sugar In Salt Lake City, the glowing embers from In The Days Of Our Love and the ashes left behind by Don't Smoke In Bed. These selections, along with Close Your Eyes, Moments Like This, Wait Until It Happens to You, and the under-appreciated gem Nobody's Heart Belongs to Me are fine for a start, but homage is also paid to Peggy Lee, the songwriter, by including I Love Being Here With You, I'm Gonna Go Fishin' and the aforementioned In The Days Of Our Love. On every song, in every mood and at every tempo, Veronica is beautifully supported by the Tammy L. Hall Quartet. Led by pianist Tammy L. Hall, the group works in a fashion similar to the quintet that accompanied Peggy for the last twenty years of her career. The word that best describes both of these groups is; cohesive. Four musicians blending in the same groove, so perfectly, that they sound like one unit. Each has moments to shine, and all do so with style. Critic Rex Reed once wrote of Peggy Lee, "...[she's] one of the greatest magicians a good song could ever wish for." Good songs are wishing again, and just in time, because now they have Veronica Klaus to sing them. A new blond magician is weaving her spells. Spells ala V! Advance Review for 'Lee a la V' by Steve Murray, Veronica Klaus continues her love affair with the music of Peggy Lee on this self-published CD of tunes sung by or co-written by Lee. Klaus has a close affinity to all facets of Lee's style; the look, the self-confident swagger and love for great lyrics and a swinging groove. Bernice Petkere's romantic "Close Your Eyes" and the Frank Loesser/Burton Lane ballad "Moments Like This" set a tone of firm sophistication and quality that continues throughout the CD. With solid backing from longtime collaborator pianist Tammy Hall, bassist Daniel Fabricant and drummer Kent Bryson, Klaus weaves a dreamy spell with her measured husky vocals. Add to the arrangements some fine horn embellishments by Mike Olmos and you're instantly transported to an earlier time of smoky saloons and late night jazz sessions. Without the obvious visual aspects of Klaus' live performances, where she embodies the soul of the 40's and 50's, this CD elegantly codifies her careful respect for Lee's music. The arrangements are lovingly re-created with intelligence and Veronica's vocals are highlighted yet wonderfully support the quartet without overpowering them. Her renditions of the bouncy "I'm Going Fishin" (co-written by Lee and Duke Ellington) and the lovely Arthur Hamilton ballad "He Needs Me" shine and sparkle in all the right places. Veronica's "Some Cats Know" and another Hamilton tune "Rain Sometimes" have the relaxed ease and worldly wisdom that defined Lee. Klaus hits these out of the park. Split between swing and ballads, Lee àla V is a respectful homage to one of the great ladies of modern music. If you want to learn from the best, Klaus could do no better and this CD is a fine testament to her mentor.

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