Sony Holland

On a San Francisco High

Van Ness Records

Sony Holland, vocals; Dennis Burnside, piano; Charlie Chadwick, bass; Pat Burgeson, guitar; Jim Hoke, wind instruments; Harry Wilkinson, drums.


This is the third CD for Sonia Holland, a relative newcomer to the Jazz scene having metamorphosed from rock and country to singing Jazz; and this lady can sing. Her husband Jerry Holland wrote all the music and words and they are very good indeed; the arrangements are by pianist Dennis Burnside. Sony, which is a nickname for Sonia, has a clear voice that flows smoothly, she uses light and shade to good effect, can add teasing inflections or straightforward niceness. There can be a harder edge added to her voice as in "That's New" and she gives a sulky exit with "Somewhere Near St. Louis". The songs themselves can swing happily, as in "Chestnut Street" and "My Man And I", and a Latin pulse is evident in "On A San Francisco High" and "Lovely To Be A Lady". The backing quintet plays with tight effectiveness, operating with perfect balance behind Sony's voice, not a note or dynamic out of place. Sony was born in Minnesota, where her father was a minister, and she says, "I would like to be something of a female Tony Bennett." Her day job is singing in the street, this sells her a lot of CDs. She is someone worth keeping an eye on.

by Ferdinand Maylin

New Sounds - February 2005

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