As a young singer-songwriter blossoming into her own, pianist Liz Malys is drawing comparisons to early Joni Mitchell and Tori Amos. Her piano themes and improvisations with ethereal vocals on top are “expressive and evocative with uncommon depth ... luxurious and dreamy...” allowing her to draw “a certain power over an audience that few performers can ever hope to possess.”
Liz’ most recent recording project, Desert, was appropriately recorded in the warmth of Arizona with friends. Desert showcases her ability to craft lush sounds and textures, weaving her sensual voice with the warm, sensitive blend of violin, cello, and acoustic bass—reminiscent of her training in classical composition—with a scattering of well-placed horn lines and additional percussion atop the rhythmic harmonies of her piano.
A native of New York’s Capital Region and recent graduate of the University of Arizona at Tucson in composition, Liz currently calls Alaska “home.” In Anchorage she’s keeping herself plenty busy between writing and gigging from the Spenard Jazzfest to the Alaska Performing Arts Center and Steinway Gallery, as well as on-air performances on Whole Wheat Radio and KNBA FM.
While the road she’s taken is away from New York, it’s obvious that to Liz Malys, travel is not just a leisure activity, but a way of life... with a wonderful journey ahead.
Liz Malys - piano, voice
Errol Bressler - upright bass
Yngvil Vatn Guttu - trumpet
John Damberg - drums
Brand new album, Desert, released in '09:
1. Only love
2. I've been away
3. Make your move
5. You say
6. Let's get this thing started
7. Queen of composure
8. Blue eyes
9. Walk on water
Music up Close with Janie
[+ Show ]
". . .Liz Malys, a great new talent from Anchorage, Alaska. Also a pianist, Liz adds jazz and blues ...". . .Liz Malys, a great new talent from Anchorage, Alaska. Also a pianist, Liz adds jazz and blues to her vocal offerings. Her sultry Janis Joplin mets Tori Amos style is intoxicating. Her recent CD, Desert, showcases her thoughtful piano work and her sensuous vocals but they are enhanced by violin, cello, and acoustic bass and a sprinkle of horn color and percussion. The songs are poetic and full of living. These aren’t the fluff of an inexperienced songwriter, but show the depth of a soul who not only observes life but has experienced it. Liz Malys—remember that
name. . ." - Janie Franz
[+ Show ]
“It’s inevitable that Anchorage singer-songwriter Liz Malys would draw comparisons to Tori Amos.... “It’s inevitable that Anchorage singer-songwriter Liz Malys would draw comparisons to Tori Amos. Her instrument of choice is piano. There’s a
passing resemblance between the way the two women use that instrument...
[Yet] Amos’ piano playing is stark, almost cold—a foil or background for her complex lyrics and striking voice. For Malys, by contrast, the piano—
along with the other instruments in the background—takes on a more important role.... There’s a certain confusion of richness in her sound, for which the only handy metaphor is the murkiness of a silted glacial stream—
all the components swirling together until they combine into a delightful opacity, each individual element no longer identifiable.”
Krestia DeGeorge - Anchorage Press (Oct 8, 2009)
Of Women, of music
[+ Show ]
Of Women, of music "Since the inception of pop music in America, female musicians have been downp...Of Women, of music
"Since the inception of pop music in America, female musicians have been downplayed and underrepresented. Last March 19, this excuse fell flat on its face. Snow Goose
hosted a Singer Songwriter Night, where Marian Call, Emily Kurn, Amy Lou Hettinger and Liz Malys played to a sold out show of 250 captivated attendees...
“It was really great to play to an audience that was there to listen, to hear the music – and not have to play over coffeehouse chatter,” proclaimed Malys.
When the four women took the stage, it was a spectrum of sound. .
Malys graced the audience with virtuosic piano playing and delightfully breathy vocals.
...Liz has created an album rich with textures. Drawing largely from her experience of living in the desert, she creates an onomatopoeia with breathy relaxed vocals distributed evenly over piano and an array of instruments...With her seemingly free form piano playing it is easy to hear why she is often compared to Tori Amos, but seeing her perform live the comparison only works in that she deftly uses piano to emphasize the emotion of her intent. I am more apt to compare her, however, to the genius of Patricia Barber, the way her hands perform pirouettes in the air as they descend on notes and chords. Although “Desert” is sure to invoke a somber introspective mood, it is hardly background music; Liz’s piano playing is active and alert. As “Desert” is Liz’ debut album, it will be exciting to see what she has in store for listeners on the next."
-Teeka A. Ballas - F Zine (April 1, 2010)
"Expressive. . ."
"Expressive and evocative with uncommon depth. . .luxurious and dreamy."
[+ Show ]
"There is a certain power she holds over the audience that few performers can ever hope to possess. ..."There is a certain power she holds over the audience that few performers can ever hope to possess. . .it's not a learned talent, it goes deeper than that."
[+ Show ]
"She's got her own sound. . .early Joni Mitchell with a little Tori Amos. . .I love [the] floaty pia..."She's got her own sound. . .early Joni Mitchell with a little Tori Amos. . .I love [the] floaty piano themes and improvisations with ethereal vocals on top."
Hip to the Jive
[+ Show ]
". . .Several of the Alaska acts on the schedule appear to gravitate more toward the loungier side o...". . .Several of the Alaska acts on the schedule appear to gravitate more toward the loungier side of things. . .a bit more boogie-woogie occasionally creeps into Liz Malys's work. The rest of the time she's moving into darker territory, closer to Tori Amos or Fiona Apple, but Malys gives her songs more space to breathe. . ."
1, 2, and 3 hour sets available.
All original material, a mix of original and jazz standards, or a mix of original, jazz standards and classical instrumental repertoire.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.