Love And Longing With Veronneau

Bruce Von Stiers

Veronneau is a jazz trio that is fairly well known in the Washington, D.C. area. They've played at the Blues Alley, the Strathmore and even at the Kennedy Center. The trio have recorded a couple of critically acclaimed albums.

This year finds Veronneau with a brand new album. Set to release in early January of 2018, this album has an international flair to it. French, Brazilian and North American musical touches can be found in this new album. The title of the album is Love & Surrender, which is appropriate as the songs on it deal with love, longing and loss.

The members of Veronneau are Lynn Veronneau, Ken Avis and David Rosenblatt. Lynn grew up in Montreal, did vocal studies in France and then settled in the U.S. She provides the lead vocals for the trio and on this album. Ken is Lynn's husband and musical collaborator. He's from the U.K, but performed in France, which is where he met Lynn. Ken and Lynn have toured as a duo as well as developing a full-length musical performance for the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C. Ken plays guitar and harmonica on the album as well as does some backing vocals. The third member of the trio, David, also has an interesting background. He partially grew up in Rio de Janeiro and returned to Brazil later on to study guitar and the Brazilian music styles. His unique take on Brazilian guitar music has made David a much sought after guest performer. He plays guitar for the trio and on this album.

The album has several special guests who played on it. There is Etu Dieng on electric bass, Tom King on accordion, Dave Kline on violin, Amadou Kouyate on kora, Bruno Lucini on drums and percussion, John Previti on upright bass and JP Silva on acoustic guitar and vocals. Etu has been the bassist for vocalist Kine Lam. Among other accolades, Amadou has been an Artist In Residence at Strathmore. Bruno has a Latin jazz trio that plays a lot in the Washington D.C. area. John has performed with such greats as Doc Cheatham. JP has produced as well as performed on many albums. Dave is a long-time collaborator with Lynn and Ken.

Lyrical and light is the music of the first song, Song of Love. It is an original composition that showcases Lynn's vocals well. It has kind of a pop jazz tone.

The title track, Love & Surrender, is a captivating piece. It features acoustic guitar and fluid and endearing vocals.

Cool samba, salsa styled music can be found in The Road.

The fourth song on the album was sung in French. I don't speak French so I didn't understand the words that Lynn sung. But La Javanaise was a beautiful, lyrical song.

I recently heard an instrumental rendition of Perfidia. On this album Lynn sings it in Spanish. Terrific salsa music and lyrical yet sultry vocals make this a great rendition of the Alberto Dominguez song.

Vocalists such as Rickie Lee Jones and Ella Fitzgerald have recorded Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most. Lynn goes a fantastic job on this song with some nice backing vocals from Ken. And the background music on the song is very well done.

Judy Collins and Linda Ronstadt and recorded The Moon's A Harsh Mistress. Joe Cocker and Glen Campbell have also recorded the song. On this album, the song is titled Moons A Harsh Mistress. Soft and gentle, yet somewhat aching vocals permeate this song of loss and longing.

Anyone who's read many of my reviews knows I'm a fan of Carlos Jobim's music. I've heard great renditions of Jobim songs, including Voce Abusou. On this album, they have taken it and mashed it up with Fais Comme L'Oiseau, a French take on the song. Lynn shares vocals on the song with JP Silva, with them as a duet in some parts of the song. Very nice indeed.

The album concludes with Waltz For Yousseff. It is a beautiful, original song that was inspired by a new addition to Lynn and Ken's family. The song has terrific violin and a great guitar interlude.

With original songs and intriguing arrangements of classics, Love & Surrender is a great album. Lynn's vocals are terrific and the musicians complement them well.

The official site for Veronneau is . Check out the site for further information about the trio and this new album.

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© 2017 Bruce E Von Stiers