John McBeath

About The Sapphire Tree

Sydney vocalist and pianist Bonnie J Jensen retains most of the quality jazz players in this septet from her previous two albums. She's composed three tracks, collaborated on arrangements and plays accompanying piano on several. There are standards, some unusual vocal pieces and one down-home blues number, "Ain't No Use".

Her style is nightclub chanteuse, drawing on many influences, sounding sometimes reminiscent of Renee Geyer, at others [times] traces of Peggy Lee or Sarah Vaughan emerge.

Soloists have adequate space: saxophonist Craig Walters contributes sympathetically, Jeremy Sawkins delivers effortless guitar and Miroslav Bukovsky's broad-toned trumpet is super-heated on "A Night in Tunisia", a challenging vocal piece, cleverly arranged with unusual variations. Jensen's title ballad, an original, displays a talent for both musical composition and poetic lyrics, evident too on "Neon Soliloquy": "Like a diamond in the river, as precious as African rain, this glimpse of bliss will sustain you - again and again."