WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
"Quirky with a swing!"
Angela Verbrugge gives singers like Lorraine Feather a run for their money with her witty lyrics on her originals that area mixed with some clever covers. Teamed with Ray Gallon/p, Cameron Brown/b and Anthony Pinciotti/dr, she is fun and quirky on her bopping “I’m Running Late” and cleverly swings on a Latin-grooved “How Did I Know This Was The End?” while her “You’re Almost Perfect” is both hip and a hoot. She is wispy and romantic on her title tune, she slithers for a coy “Love Walked In” and oozes on Duke Ellington’s “All Too Soon” while putting a rose between her teeth and doing a table dance on the sauntering “Si Tu Pudieras Quererme.” In the Archie Comics of life, this lady is a bubbly Betty.
- JAZZ WEEKLY
"Angela Verbrugge seems to understand the importance of a first impression, as her debut album offers a wide-angel look at her manifold talents without feeling forced or showy.
A singer nurtured on the British Columbia jazz scene, the Vancouver-based Verbrugge possesses a winsome, brightly burnished, pliable voice, ample emotional intelligence, considerable songwriting skills, and conspicuously good taste. With top-notch accompanists—Ray Gallon on piano, Anthony Pinciotti on drums, and Cameron Brown on bass—she delivers 13 songs, including four originals, that cover a lot of territory.
It takes some moxie to lead with two pieces of her own—the steeplechase collaboration with Gallon, “I’m Running Late (That’s the Question),” and the sultry title track—before offering a wondrous version of the Gershwins’ “Love Walked In” complete with oft-overlooked verse. The album’s sequencing often amplifies a song’s impact, as when Steve Allen’s rousing “This Could Be the Start of Something Big” follows her original “You’re Almost Perfect.”
Verbrugge makes the most lasting impression with her sprints into left field, as on the Latin-tinged “Si Tu Pudieras Quererme,” a Spanish translation of “You and the Night and the Music.” And she gets major points for interpreting Nino Rota’s haunting theme from The Godfather. While Larry Kusick’s lyrics for “Speak Softly, Love” are as forgettable as Rota’s melody is indelible, Verbrugge makes a convincing case that the song deserves further attention. A tango-inflected arrangement of “The Moon Is Yellow” doesn’t fare quite as well, but she closes the album with another strong original, “How Did I Know This Was the End?,” a Nat Adderley-ish relationship kiss-off co-written with Gerry Teahan. With so many smart decisions and memorable tracks, I’m eager to hear what Verbrugge does next.
- ANDREW GILBERT, JazzTimes Magazine, print and online in the April edition
“This very impressive debut album from vocalist Angela Verbrugge is a real treat... Angela infuses passion and emotion with each beautiful note. The trio of Ray Gallon on piano, Cameron Brown on bass and Anthony Pinciotti on drums provide fluid and sculptural jazz instrumentation...”
- THE JAZZ MUSIC BLOG, Australia (edited for brevity, full review at thejazzmusicblog.blogspot.com)
"Angela lets her stunning vocals soar."
- THE RECORD-JOURNAL, Meridian, CT
James Pasinski (JPSMusicBlog)
<The Night We Couldn't Say Good Night is> "...beautifully patient and timeless."
- EPONYMOUS REVIEW
Laurie Fanelli, founder ( Chicago, IL)
"...with a vocal sound that’s bright and optimistic and also full of depth and nuance - welcoming the light but without denying the existence of the darkness. ...I for one, am glad that the door opened and Angela Verbrugge came through it."
- WILL FRIEDWALD
Music writer (The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, Playboy), author of nine books including Jazz Singing, and the award-winning A Biographical Guie to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers. He is a curator for Apple Music.
"The Night We Couldn't Say Good Night" is such a satisfying and solid musical statement. I love the singing, the material, the arrangements, and the band! The duet on "Interlude" ("Night in Tunisia") with pianist Ray Gallon is especially memorable."
- MIKE RUD
Juno-award (2014) winning Montreal-based jazz guitarist
(Peter Bernstein, Kenny Wheeler, Herb Ellis, Joey DeFrancesco)
"I had the good fortune to assist in the arranging process for Angela's debut album, and was impressed with her creative impulses. She shines a new light on some classics, while presenting some challenging and often humorous original material. As a vocalist, Ms Verbrugge's acting skills clearly bring forth the lyrics in an engaging way".
- MILES BLACK
Award-winning jazz pianist, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, producer, composer
(Slide Hampton, Ingrid Jensen, Houston Person, Max Roach, Dee Daniels, Lee Konitz)
"...a fine vocalist and an engaging performer who communicates a song's lyrics to the audience."
Retired Arts Reviewer, Vancouver Sun
"I had the pleasure of playing vibraphone in Angela's quartet. She has a warm, honey-hued sound and phrases so beautifully! She is a great composer, and writes songs that are both unique and fun to play."
Vancouver-based drummer and vibraphonist (Pat LaBarbara, Dianna Krall, Clark Terry, Sweets Edison)