For the better part of the last decade, Avery Sunshine (aka Denise White) has been one of R&B's best-kept secrets. The Chester, PA-bred and Atlanta-based musician's delicious mixture of jazz, gospel and soul (self dubbed "jazz-go-soul") on her eponymous 2010 debut and its 2014 follow-up The Sun Room earned praises from everyone from Patti Labelle to Rahsaan Patterson. With the 2016 marriage to her long-time musical partner Dana Johnson as a backdrop, Twenty Sixty Four is the pianist, singer and songwriter's most ambitious and satisfying effort yet.
True to her name, Sunshine's sonic message has always been positive and empowering, and Twenty Sixty Four doesn't disappoint on that front. The irresistible, church-ified Motown bounce of "Used Car" and the brisk "I Just Don't Know" are both standout showcases for her remarkable piano skills and warm vocals, which will leave listeners in sunshine-soaked bliss. On a grander sonic scale, "Kiss and Make It Better" and the dreamy, string laden reverie of "The Ice Cream Song" are vivid snapshots of romantic bliss that Sunshine pulls off with pure aplomb, while the six minutes-plus "Everything I've Got" is a mesmerizing testimonial to soulful devotion with Sunshine's most fervent vocal performance thus far.
Twenty Sixty Four is a standout album from an already remarkable talent. (Shanachie)