The Night We Couldn't Say Good Night Angela Verbugge
- 1I'm Running Late04:35
- 2The Night We Couldn't Say Good Night03:51
- 3Love Walked In04:39
- 4All Too Soon05:14
- 5You're Almost Perfect03:27
- 6This Could Be the Start of Something Big03:00
- 7Interlude (A Night in Tunisia)03:12
- 8Cool Baby04:18
- 9Si Tu Pudieras Quererme (You and the Night and the Music)03:40
- 10Speak Softly, Love03:53
- 11Plus je t'embrasse03:01
- 12The Moon Was Yellow03:06
- 13How Did I Know This Was the End?03:18
Info for The Night We Couldn't Say Good Night
Winner of the 2021 JazzTimes Readers' Poll: The Vancouver-based Canadian singer Angela Verbrugge publishes her first record. With a seducing tone of voice, Angela Verbrugge knows how to highlight the lyrics of a standard. Her practice in theater must certainly be helpful for that. She plays with ease with melodies and makes them her own, for example by adorning them with a Pleasant Latin touch (The Night We Couldn’t Say Good Night, Love Walked In).
"Angela Verbrugge is a jazz vocalist who "possesses a winsome, brightly burnished, pliable voice, ample emotional intelligence, considerable songwriting skills, and conspicuously good taste" (JazzTimes). "Her voice is both innocent and sultry, and has a playfulness that takes audiences on a journey," writes Neon Jazz. CBC Saturday Night Jazz played Angela's debut release shortly after it debuted at #1 for Jazz on iTunes Canada, and Laila Biali described: "There's so much joy in her delivery. You can just hear the smile in her voice." She was one of the youngest graduates in the history of George Brown School of Performing Arts (Toronto), after a youth spent studying piano and active on the arts scene of her birth city of Kingston, Ontario. She relocated to Vancouver in 1997. After having three kids and three close brushes with death, she followed her passion to vocal jazz, releasing her debut record in 2019 with piano trio backing from three veterans of the NYC Jazz scene: Ray Gallon (Lionel Hampton, Joe Williams, Chaka Khan), Cameron Brown (Sheila Jordan, George Adams) and Anthony Pinciotti (Stacey Kent, Dr Lonnie Smith). Award-winning vocal jazz history author, Wall Street Journal writer describes it as having a, "top-drawer arranging crew and cast of expert musicians", noting that " with a vocal sound that's full of depth and nuance - welcoming the light but without denying the existence of the darkness"."
The whole point in singing a well-known song is to find something fresh and original to do with it, but sometimes the simplest and most basic idea in the world can be incredibly effective, like, for instance, the leap from an unfamiliar verse to a very familiar chorus - the audience will almost always breathe a collective sigh of relief and recognition. The highlight of Angela Verbrugge’s album is the way she makes this happen on “Love Walked In.” Ms. Verbrugge cleverly realized that here’s a song everybody knows with a verse that practically nobody knows, and that this could be used to her advantage. The narrative of Ira Gershwin’s lyric is perfectly poised to set up this transition: everything sounds all dark and minor as she sings, “Nothing seemed to matter anymore. / Didn't care what I was headed for.” But the most the verse ends with a line that’s highly pregnant with possibilities, “Time was standing still nothing counted till / There came a knock-knock-knocking at the door.”
At that point, she goes from verse to chorus, from dark to light, from dirge-like slow to bouncy-medium fast, from rubato to a cha-cha beat. The overall feeling isn’t one of merely moving from one part of a song to another, but she makes it sound like she’s actually coming through a door - as if love were literally walking into a room and driving the shadows away. It’s so simple, yet so effective. This is the kind of thing that Ella Fitzgerald would have done - but no, Ella doesn’t actually sing the verse on her classic Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Songbook album. (Likewise, Sarah Vaughan does sing the verse, but neither she nor her arranger hit upon this idea of heightening the contrast between verse and chorus in this fashion to make it more dramatically impactive.) But what makes the idea really work is Angela herself, 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. She really makes it sound like she’s strolling right up to the window, pushing the drapes open and turning the lights on. ... (Liner Notes by Will Friedwald)
Angela Verbugge, vocals
Ray Gallon, piano
Cameron Brown, double bass
Anthony Pinciotti, drums
JazzTimes Magazine writes that charismatic Canadian jazz vocalist Angela Verbrugge "possesses a winsome, brightly-burnished, pliable voice, with ample emotional intelligence, and conspicuously good taste” in its glowing review of her debut release. Soon thereafter, Angela went on to win the 2021 JazzTimes Readers' Poll for Best Female Vocalist. She recorded and released her debut album, The Night We Couldn't Say Good Night, in New York City through Gut String Records in 2019. Angela is primarily influenced by the swing era, vintage musicals, and bebop.
Toronto Music Report described, “Verbrugge addresses each song with the breathtakingly, absolutely natural purity of her voice. A rare perfect album.” Canadian Broadcasting National Radio host Laila Biali described, "There's so much joy in delivery,” while Wall Street Journal writer Will Friedwald describes, "a vocal sound that's full of depth and nuance - welcoming the light without denying the darkness” and notes that she works with a “top-drawer arranging crew and cast of expert musicians”. Her recording received critical acclaim from radio/podcast hosts across the globe, with airplay on national Canadian shows such as CBC Saturday Night Jazz and Hot Air, popular jazz programs the U.S. including NPR, as well as in South America, Europe and Asia. Her project charted on both Earshot and JazzWeek. It was selected by Earshot as a top 10 vocal jazz release in its year of release, and held the top of the jazz charts on iTunes in its release week.
As a lyricist, her work has received critical acclaim, and critics have compared her favorably with Annie Ross, Lorraine Feather and Frishberg. “She is a witty songwriter, drawing on Cole Porter, Gilbert and Sullivan, and Johnny Mercer for inspiration and rapid-fire rhymes, occasionally resembling a less vinegary Dave Frishberg.” (JAZZ LIVES)
She has appeared at the Vancouver International Film Festival, several Canadian jazz festivals, and top Canadian jazz clubs such as Frankie’s, Hermann’s, and the Rex. Her trios have included such acclaimed musicians as Cameron Brown (Jazz Messengers), Anthony Pinciotti (Stacey Kent), (multi-Juno recipient) Neil Swainson, (jazz impressario/saxophonist) Cory Weeds, Ray Gallon (Grammy-nominated for his work on Lionel Hampton’s album), (Jazz Pianist of the Year) Bernie Senensky, (Order of Canada recipient) Terry Clarke and (NYC big band leader jazz drummer) Evan Sherman. She is the recipient of multiple grants from Creative BC and Amplify BC to develop her original material.
Angela grew up in a suburb of Kingston, Ontario where she sang in choirs, played trombone in competitive bands, and studied classical piano to a high-level. Her family had numerous 1930s-1950s song books and she enjoyed sitting at the piano playing and singing many jazz standards without having ever heard a recording of them, or knowing where to connect with musicians playing this music. She started performing in comedy improv, touring productions for youth, and various musicals, learning the compositions of Cole Porter, Gilbert and Sullivan and Harold Arlen. Angela entered Toronto’s George Brown School of Performing Arts at the tender age of 17 and became the youngest graduate in the history of the well-respected acting program. She performed in plays and short films in Toronto before relocating to Vancouver in 1997 to take advantage of the Hollywood North filming happening there. Shortly after moving, she broke both legs and fractured her back in a head-on collision. Her father had been a computer professor, so after taking a few courses at the local university, she left acting to secure jobs in marketing and business development with the burgeoning dotcom sector in e-learning and Internet privacy in 1999. In 2004-07, Angela left business when she had young children and pursued a permaculture designation, food-scaped her entire property, and did environmental community advocacy. Through routine screening, she was diagnosed with serious cancer that had already started to spread in 2009. As she undertook treatments and made a full recovery. Taking into account her multiple near-death experiences, Angela felt compelled to finally follow her passion to sing the songs she played alone as a child and write her own with these as inspiration. She curated her own musical education through shelves of books, and pursued mentorship from renowned Vancouver musicians, eventually learning on the bandstand. Angela sought out lessons and instruction online and from acclaimed vocalists and musicians around the world including Karrin Allyson, Sheila Jordan, Rebecca Kilgore, Sara Gazarek and technique under teachers such as Lisa Popeil, Cecile LaRochelle and Judith Rabinovitch. She relocated to Victoria, BC, on Vancouver Island in 2019.
George Harris at Jazz Weekly sums it up, describing, Angela as "fun and quirky, hip and a hoot, wispy and romantic; she slithers and oozes, and cleverly swings... in the Archie Comics of life, this lady is a bubbly Betty.”