Amanda Tosoff "Words" Project
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Amanda Tosoff "Words" Project

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | INDIE | AFM

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2015
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Music

Press


“This group exemplifies so many of the great and positive things that young jazz musicians have going for them; compositional talent, instrumental talent, and devotion to the music and one another.”
- Katie Malloch (CBC Radio)

“A thoughtful composer and arranger, a well-developed knack for animating her material with fine counterpoint and colourful sonic combinations" - Peter Hum (Ottawa Citizen)

“Vancouver-to-Toronto jazz-piano transplant Amanda Tosoff sweats the small stuff in this satisfying slice of mainstream jazz. My favourite is the first of 10 Tosoff originals: "Bluke" (which Tosoff says is short for Blues for Duke), which gently stirs together jazz, salsa and blues into a satisfying, simmering rhythmic stew.” - CD review by John Terauds (Toronto Star)

"...Tosoff shows great promise: as a composer, leader, and performer...Her quartet swings with a genuine spirit, and she interprets clearly with a crisp motion...she brings the piano into full view through her calm demeanor and complete confidence." - Jim Santella (Cadence Magazine)

"Amanda performed with her quartet at the Jazz Festival and they were absolutely stunning. Everyone was coming up and asking, 'Who is this band?' ...the quality of her composing is extremely high, and she swings, yet she can be introspective. Definitely an artist and a band
to watch." - John Orysik of Coastal Jazz and Blues Society (Globe and Mail)

"She highlights a talent for catchy composition and an impressive command of the keyboard." - (Whole Note Magazine)

“... a gifted musician with refined compositional skills.” - Marke Andrews (Vancouver Sun Review)

“Tosoff shows a remarkable grasp of the art of the song.” - Raul d'Gama Rose (Allaboutjazz.com)

“Two things that make Tosoff's jazz fun are the generosity she gives to her backing quartet that leaves it lots of room, and her piano playing, which has a playful curiosity” - Tom Harrison (The Province)

"Jazz is in very good hands indeed!" - Paul Grant (CBC Radio's "Hot Air")

"...an assured, forward-thinking voice." - Greg Buium (Vancouver Sun)

“There is an obvious cohesiveness and comfort level amongst these musicians. Grooves hang in a common pocket, and the young players show a mature level of sensitivity to each other’s nuances. Perhaps even more impressive is the harmonic sophistication of Tosoff’s writing. These are tunes that flow logically, and form the bed for her lyrical melodies, but the harmonies are interesting and provide a lot of meat for these players to dig into.” - Lyle Rebbeck CD review (Medicine Hat Jazz Society) -


Discography

2016 | Amanda Tosoff | Words (Independent)

2013 | Amanda Tosoff Trio | Live at the Cellar (Independent)

2012 | Richard Whiteman Quartet | On Course (Independent)

2010 | Amanda Tosoff Quartet/Septet | Looking North (Independent)

2008 | Amanda Tosoff Quintet | Wait and See (Cellar Live)

2008 | Morgan Childs Quintet | Time (Cellar Live)

2008 | Bess Durey | Artic (Independent)

2006 | Amanda Tosoff Quartet | Still Life (Cellar Live Futures)

2005 | Amanda Tosoff | composition “The Look” featured on the CBC Hotair Compilation CD Vol. 4

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Toronto-based pianist, composer and bandleader has established herself as one of the most exciting new talents on the Canadian jazz scene. Along with critical kudos and the respect of her peers, Tosoff has received such prestigious awards the General Motors Grand Prix de Jazz at the 2009 Montréal Jazz Festival. She has performed with such internationally recognized artists as Ingrid Jensen, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Phil Dwyer, Christine Jensen, Brad Turner, and Kelly Jefferson; and her groups have opened for legends Bobby Hutcherson, Renee Rosnes, Oliver Jones, and Brazilian singer Luciana Souza.

With her new album Words, Tosoff now takes an adventurous leap beyond the confines of conventional jazz. She has taken poems and lyrics that possess a personal resonance for her and framed them in original new compositions that utilize vocals for the first time. The result is an eclectic collection that incorporates elements of pop, art song, classical, folk and jazz.

The project may be difficult to categorize, but it is charmingly accessible. The fluent playing of Tosoff and her A-list ensemble matches the melodic eloquence of her compositions, while the poetic power of the lyrics and poems adapted by Amanda shines brightly here.

To bring the songs on Words to life, she recruited highly-regarded singer Felicity Williams (Hobson's Choice, Bahamas), guitarist Alex Goodman (Montreux Jazz Festival Winner), bassist Jon Maharaj, and drummer Morgan Childs, while violinist Rebekah Wolkstein and cellist Amy Laing add atmospheric accompaniment to some of the tunes.

The opening piece on Words fittingly shows the worth of words. It is an adaptation of Wordsworth's "Daffodils," a staple of English literature classes given fresh new life here. 

The catalyst for Words, "Owl Pellet" is a wonderfully evocative piece that musically conveys the sense of darkness, mystery and awe portrayed in the Tim Bowling poem. The poet himself is thrilled at Tosoff's interpretation, commenting that "her haunting composition for 'Owl Pellet' adds layers of beauty and complexity to what can only be described as the mysterious spaces between the words. In that always intriguing and intimate dance between text and sound, she has created an eerie aural homage to the unfathomable being who hovers out there on the black branch between the stars."

Tosoff didn't need to look far from home to find song lyrics to fire up her muse. Her father Lloyd and uncle Ted Tosoff have long been active as songwriters in the Americana/country vein, and their lyrics in "Living In The Past" struck a chord with Amanda.

Lyrics by Amanda's sister Melissa Mansfield are featured on "Down To The Water," a lovely and gently reflective strings-embellished number that does justice to the poignant subject matter, the passing of Melissa's brother Mathew.

The release of Words will introduce Tosoff to a wider audience of music lovers, but she has long impressed jazz critics and aficionados with her earlier albums, all primarily featuring original compositions. Now Amanda Tosoff's love affair with words is blooming, and she will continue to explore their integration with her eloquent musical compositions. Based on the major accomplishment that is Words, following that journey is sure to be a fascinating and worthwhile pursuit.

Band Members