Thu. Dec 8th, 2022

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Album Review: Verona Chard – Fever

3 min read

Bristol born, Bath raised jazz songstress Verona Chard has released her new album Fever.

Fever is a collection of jazz classics and interpretations with Chard covering songs by artists including Elton John, Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim and Rodgers & Hart.

VeronaChardFeverChard has a rather captivating voice and Fever gives her the perfect opportunity to swagger her undeniable vocal talents. Her voice was made for jazz and snuggles delicately into the genre she is clearly at home within.

Unfortunately this is the only captivating feature about Fever. Anticipating something with more pizzazz, what Fever holds back on is not only the right dose of pizzazz but also any form of originality. For the most part, Fever sounds more like a demo recording than an official album release. Maybe it wasn’t Chard’s intention to recreate some of the greats of the genre but it would have been nice to hear a new take on these songs rather than getting the feeling of deja vu.

The overall mood of the album is very sombre which is to be expected with a jazz record to a certain degree. Chard’s interpretation of the Peggy Lee title track is a little too submissive and although no one can do Fever as well as the original diva, the leading number proves to be a very drowsy addition.

The iconic Rodgers and Hart penned My Funny Valentine is also performed to a sleep inducing level of dim and not really worth a second listen.

Lack-lustre aside there are a few gems hidden in Fever that are worth a go. Why Can’t You Behave brings a little uptempo to the collection while Willow Weep For Me is the highpoint of the record. With this number you can hear the emotion and vulnerability and the song really portrays Chard as an impeccable vocalist.

Inspired by the music of the late John Dankworth, most notably his 1964 release Shakespeare and All That Jazz, Chard also touches on a Dankworth favorite Dunsinane Blues and she delivers this heartfelt inclusion with conviction and merit.

The arrangement of Fever also brings together a tight band of jazz musicians including harpist Fiona Clifton-Welker and  award-winning saxophonist Alan Barnes.

Fever is a record of hits and misses. Chard’s vocal talent is the selling point of the release however with her selection of songs proving to be the letdown, it would have been more pleasing to hear the singer release a record of self penned numbers than release an almost karaoke styled collection of covers.