Sony Holland sings in a style that is both sophisticated and emotionally direct. Her interpretations of the great American songbook show a deep respect and love for the material while adding an unmistakable spark of personality. Originally from northern Minnesota, Sony fell in love with jazz while spending a year in Paris and has earned a devoted following worldwide with her renditions of standards, contemporary classics, and original songs. She has made San Francisco her home since 2003 although she now performs internationally, including extensive concert tours and residencies in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Bangkok. Her CD Swing, Bossas, Ballads & Blues is an intimate set of 16 songs which she brings together with impeccable musicianship.
Despite her sunny good looks Sony is a performer who knows what it is to pay her dues. She started her career on the streets of Fisherman’s Wharf and sang there in the wind, cold and rain, through good times and bad. “None of the other street musicians thought I would last, but I was determined to make a living out there.” That means spending hours singing when few tourists are about, simply to guard one’s turf. She explains, “I never minded the hostile elements or the slow nights because I understood that you need to put the time in to get your voice strong.” “People would constantly ask me what I was doing out there. They don’t understand how few well-paying jazz venues there are and how expensive it is for an independent musician to travel with a band.”
To keep herself working Ms. Holland often goes from playing a club like NYC’s Blue Note one night, to performing at a black-tie event the next… and then she’ll go out the following morning to sing for tips at a Nor-Cal Farmer’s Market! It keeps things interesting. “I always think of what my first bass player said. He was an old-timer who had toured with some of the biggest names in jazz and he’d tell me, “Whether you’re playing Carnegie Hall or a neighborhood dive, remember they’re all just joints.””
Partially to deal with the expense of traveling she encouraged her songwriting husband to beef up his jazz chops on the guitar. Now they often perform together in concert venues and cafes as a duo. “Jerry has a rhythmic approach to playing jazz tunes that audiences really enjoy even if they’re not huge jazz fans.” His compositions have also added freshness to her repertoire. Swing, Bossas, Ballads & Blues includes several of his compositions such as: You're The Best, As You Are and Act Like You're In Love With Me.
The rest of the 16 track disc is filled with jazz/pop and bossa nova classics such as Speak Low and Midnight Sun. Sony puts a jazzy spin on Paul Simon's Fifty Ways and Roberta Flack's The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. The disc closes with three bonus tracks which showcase Sony's sensitive readings of the most iconic songs of our time: The Shadow Of Your Smile, Here's That Rainy Day and My Funny Valentine.
Sony Holland and her band recorded Swing, Bossas, Ballads and Blues at Skywalker Ranch with Grammy winning engineer Leslie Ann Jones in 2007. This disc is a "new edition" of a previously released CD.
Larry Dunlap, Piano & Keyboard
Art Khu, Piano & Hammond Organ
Charles McNeal, Alto & Tenor Sax
Dave MacNab, Electric Guitar
Jim Nichols, Electric & Spanish Guitar
Steve Erquiaga, Spanish Guitar
Seward McCain, Upright Bass
David Rokeach, Drums
Recorded @ Skywalker Sound
Engineered by Leslie Ann Jones
Mixed by Brendan Harkin @ Wildwood Sound
Mastered by Paul Stubblebine