Penelope Sai sings 007, review by Barry O’Sullivan


Album:  Penelope Sai Sings 007
Artist:   Penelope Sai
Release Date: November 2016
Label:    Independent

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This is the fourth album release from the Sydney based vocalist following on from her Jazz Bell Award nominated album of 2016 Some Kind of Dream. The album delivers fourteen of the most popular James Bond themes, most of them by English composer/arranger John Barry, stripped back into a jazz club styling with a Latin tinge with all of the seductiveness and drama of the originals. Sean Mackenzie shines on the piano and arrangements along side a stellar band including Brett Hirst (double bass), Nic Cecire (drums) with appearances from American Scotty Barnhart (horns), Jonathan Zwartz (double bass on one track) and Frenchman Didier Lockwwod on (violin).

The Marvin Hamlisch/ Carole Bayer Sager hit Nobody Does iI Better gets a re-vamp as does Bono’s Golden Eye and there’s even the award winning Skyfall one of best themes of them all. Diamonds Are Forever makes a reappearance from her previous album, but the others are all fresh and new recordings.The album invokes the nostalgia of how powerful songs such as these were in selling a film title as a package commencing with From Russia With Love and the everlasting James Bond theme.

Ms Sai glides through the tracks effortlessly with sensuality and seductiveness of a true Bond girl delivering pure listening pleasure to fans of the this timeless genre.

Penelope Sai – vocals, Sean Mackenzie – piano, Brett Hirst -double bass, Nic Cecire – drums, Scotty Barnhart – horns, Jonathan Zwartz – (double bass on one track), Didier Lockwwod – violin

Barry OSullivan is the Producer/Presenter of a national music program A Jazz Hour now approaching its fourteenth year on the national Community Radio Network making it one the longest running jazz music programs on the FM Airwaves. Barry also produces and presents a variety of jazz programs for Sydney digital radio station FINE MUSIC Digital and reviews jazz music recordings for the international webpage, All About Jazz, and Fine Music Magazine. Barry strongly supports Australian jazz and contemporary improvised music from his home base in The Blue Mountains, NSW.