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Angela Verbrugge: The Night We Couldn’t Say Goodnight (Gut String)

A review of the debut album from the Canadian vocalist

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The Night We Couldn't Say Goodnight
The cover of The Night We Couldn’t Say Goodnight by Angela Verbrugge

Angela Verbrugge seems to understand the importance of a first impression, as her debut album offers a wide-angle look at her manifold talents without feeling forced or showy. A singer nurtured on the British Columbia jazz scene, the Vancouver-based Verbrugge possesses a winsome, brightly burnished, pliable voice, ample emotional intelligence, considerable songwriting skills, and conspicuously good taste. With top-notch accompanists—Ray Gallon on piano, Anthony Pinciotti on drums, and Cameron Brown on bass—she delivers 13 songs, including four originals, that cover a lot of territory.

It takes some moxie to lead with two pieces of her own—the steeplechase collaboration with Gallon, “I’m Running Late (That’s the Question),” and the sultry title track—before offering a wondrous version of the Gershwins’ “Love Walked In” complete with oft-overlooked verse. The album’s sequencing often amplifies a song’s impact, as when Steve Allen’s rousing “This Could Be the Start of Something Big” follows her original “You’re Almost Perfect.”

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