Earth Voices Amanda Tosoff
- 1A Dream Within a Dream (feat. Emilie-Claire Barlow)05:04
- 2Sonnet 49 (feat. Robin Dann)05:25
- 3Here and Heaven (feat. Michelle Willis and Alex Samaras)05:21
- 4Birdwings (feat. Alex Samaras)05:28
- 5Oh, Life (feat. Laila Biali and Alex Samaras)06:15
- 6The Fiddle and the Drum (feat. Lydia Persaud)06:26
- 7To a Stranger (feat. Felicity Williams)06:00
- 8Finis (feat. Emilie-Claire Barlow)05:52
Info for Earth Voices
Merging the deep, powerful messages of poetry with adventurous modern jazz, Toronto-based pianist/composer Amanda Tosoff leads a hybrid ensemble with strings and seven rotating vocalists on Earth Voices, the follow-up to her Juno Award-nominated 2016 release Words (“a grand achievement” – CBC Radio). The album is being released by Empress Music Group, a label and company founded by award-winning vocalist Emilie-Claire Barlow.
Earth Voices is Tosoff’s sixth album as a leader and the second to feature vocals. But whereas Words featured the marvelous singing of Felicity Williams straight through, Earth Voices adds six additional vocalists to the lineup in turn, each ideally suited to the song at hand. The compositions and orchestrations are sonorous, texturally rich, with a string quartet, guitarist Alex Goodman, and guest saxophonists Allison Au and Kelly Jefferson augmenting the lineup. The performances, full of eloquence and fire, are centered by Tosoff’s assured and lyrical pianism, revealing an artist at the peak of her powers.
“This record represents a shift in me as an artist and person. My last record Words was me tentatively dipping my toes into new unfamiliar waters, and Earth Voices is me jumping fully into these waters, excited to see what I can create if I trust my musical intuition and let go of my past beliefs about what jazz “should” be. This record really showcases my voice, loud and proud, even if I’m not one of the gorgeous voices singing on it.”
Emilie-Claire Barlow, vocals
Laila Biali, vocals
Michelle Willis, vocals
Lydia Persaud, vocals
Robin Dann, vocals
Felicity Williams, vocals
Alex Samaras, vocals
Allison Au, alto saxophone
Kelly Jefferson, soprano saxophone
Alex Goodman, guitar
Amanda Tosoff, piano
Jon Maharaj, bass
Morgan Childs, drums
Aline Homzy, violin
Jeremy Potts, violin
Laurence Schaufele, viola
Beth Silver, cello
is a B.C-raised, Toronto-based pianist, composer, and educator with six albums to her credit. As a bandleader and side-woman, she has performed with internationally-recognized artists such as Emilie-Claire Barlow, Ingrid and Christine Jensen, Brad Turner, Phil Dwyer, and many more. Her own groups have been featured at festivals across Canada and abroad, and have opened for jazz luminaries such as Bobby Hutcherson, Renee Rosnes, Oliver Jones, and Luciana Souza. Amanda has received various honours, including the Montréal Jazz Festival Grand Prix de Jazz, and the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Jazz Artist Award – and most recently, a Juno nomination and mention on the Polaris Prize "Longer List,” for her album Words.
Through her richly varied body of work, Amanda has gained recognition as “an assured, forward- thinking voice” (Greg Buium, Vancouver Sun) on the Canadian jazz scene and beyond. In Amanda’s artistry, one hears a rigorous, deeply felt command of the jazz piano lineage as well as an eagerness to push beyond labels, finding inspiration from various sources and disciplines, including jazz, art-song, folk-pop, and poetry – influences one can hear on her acclaimed recording Words.
With Amanda’s sixth release as a leader, Earth Voices, she continues to pursue the creative and stylistic leap she began on Words, once again drawing on poetry with a deep personal and emotional connection. Along with strings, guest saxophonists Allison Au and Kelly Jefferson, and New York-based guitarist Alex Goodman, Amanda enlists a sterling and versatile cast of singers — Emilie-Claire Barlow, Robin Dann, Michelle Willis, Alex Samaras, Laila Biali, Lydia Persaud and Felicity Williams — to give new life to words by Edgar Allan-Poe, Pablo Neruda, Rumi, Marjorie Pickthall and Walt Whitman, among other original material and inventive arrangements of songs by Joni Mitchell, Luciana Souza, Chris Thile and Mike Ross of Soulpepper Theatre. With a “calm demeanor and complete confidence” (Cadence), and with an honest, genuine and giving spirit, Tosoff stands poised to share with the world the next stages in her evolution.
“... a gifted musician with refined compositional skills.” Marke Andrews (Vancouver Sun Review)
“A thoughtful composer and arranger, a well-developed knack for animating her material with fine counterpoint and colourful sonic combinations” Peter Hum (Ottawa Citizen)