Sandy Brown Jazz reviews Fever

We first mentioned Verona Chard a few months ago when we discovered her captivating interpretation of the Peggy Lee number Fever. There must have been some consensus as Verona is about to release her first album with Fever as the title track. Verona grew up in the West Country and then went to the Royal Academy of Music in London. She made her debut five years ago with Humphrey Lyttelton.

The new album was inspired by John Dankworth’s 1964 release Shakespeare and All That Jazz. Verona came across a copy of the record in a charity shop ‘It sparked a chain reaction,’ she says. ‘I embarked on a journey of discovery finding a wealth of material with a connection to ‘the Bard‘. The comprehensive liner notes relate each of the songs to extracts from Shakespeare’s work – Fever is reflected in the sonnet that begins: ‘My love is as a fever, longing still…’ and Willow Weep For Me by Desdemona’s song from Othello: ‘The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree, Sing all a green willow…’

There are some favourite numbers on the album including Cole Porter’s Why Can’t You Behave, a beautiful performance of Stephen Sondheim’s scoring of Fear No More (The Heat Of The Sun), Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s Cool from West Side Story, Rodgers and Hart’s This Can’t Be Love and an truly exquisite version of My Funny Valentine. You will also find an imaginative arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s music to ‘What light through yonder window breaks…’ from Romeo and Juliet, John Dankworth’s Dunsinane Blues, Elton John’s The King Must Die and Humphrey Lyttelton’s Jail Break. At a quick glance the front cover seems strange until you read that the background is of the graffiti on the archway to Romeo and Juliet’s wall in Verona, Italy …

Verona has the support of some great musicians on the album including Alan Barnes (clarinet and saxophones), Fiona Clifton-Welker (harp), Charlotte Glasson (saxophone), Ray Wordsworth (trombone), Kevin Robinson (trumpet), Alex Stamford (piano/hammond organ), Dave Green, Andy Hamill (bass/electric bass), and Mark Fletcher (drums).

You can sample music from the album and check out the tour dates by clicking here. The album is currently available as downloads from Amazon.co.uk. The CD of the album is also available direct from Verona through her website www.veronachard.com priced £11.99 including P&P. We think this is an inspiringly researched, arranged and performed album – taste it and see.

Review by Ian Maund – www.sandybrownjazz.com

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Private Tuition : Vocal Masterclass

Verona has been vocal technique adviser to a number of successful singers including : Claire Martin, Tatiana Okupnik, Gill Manley, Barb Jungr, Victoria Hart

She is a visiting consultant at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Students from CSSD have currently gained parts in - Les Miserables (tour), Dad's Army (tour), The Globe etc.

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July 21st 2012 - 606 Club, London - Masterclass with Claire Martin OBE, Verona Chard and Gareth Williams

E-mail: [email protected] to request details

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If you are interested in one to one classes or details of jazz vocal workshops that Verona is running then email her on: [email protected]

Verona Recommends

Quote 'Verona's Website' and receive a 10% discount on hair styling at R Hair and Beauty Uxbridge Road, London, W5 3LD Tel: 020 8896 2982 Tube: Ealing Common