Shane Nicols (Aust. Financial Review Arts Writer)
She sings Teach Me Tonight – fetchingly too – but you get the impression Bonnie Jensen’s absorbed the syllabus already. This is an experienced singer – she has worked extensively in Europe – and it’s the Diana Krall-like combination of innocence and sexy womanliness somewhere in the timbre of the voice that lets you know. Like Krall, Jensen does work as a pianist/singer and there is that great confidence and self-reliance evident in what she does. Here, though, the piano duties fell to Michael Bartolomei while a solid roster of names – notably session ace Graham Jesse on saxes, Nicholas McBride on drums and David Stratton on bass – mean that the singer has about as good support as you could reasonably ask for. Jensen makes good use of it, but part of the knowingness of this album is the choice of standards that leave her little opportunity to show us anything very original. These are great songs and superbly delivered. But it’s Bonnie. That voice. You can’t help wondering what she could do with a bunch of fertile tunes and the freedom and security to go with her instincts. Confirmation comes in her own originals, Reality and the Anita Baker-ish slow burn The Best Thing In Your Life, where you sense the real Bonnie at the microphone. Let’s hear more of YOU next time Bonnie - and a next time there ought to be.