Earth Voices (Empress Music Group)

Amanda Tosoff

Released January 2021

JAZZ FM 25 Best Jazz Albums of 2021




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.

Track Listing:

1. A Dream Within a Dream (Amanda Tosoff) 05:04

2. Sonnet 49 (Luciana Souza) 05:25

3. Here and Heaven (Stuart Duncan / Edgar Meyer / Aoife O’Donovan / Chris Thile) 05:20

4. Birdwings (Amanda Tosoff) 05:27

5. Oh, Life (Mike Ross) 06:14

6. The Fiddle and the Drum (Joni Mitchell) 06:26

7. To a Stranger (Amanda Tosoff) 05:59

8. Finis (Amanda Tosoff) 05:51


Amanda Tosoff: piano

Kelly Jefferson: tenor saxophone

Allison Au: alto saxophone

Alex Goodman: guitar

Jon Maharaj: bass

Morgan Childs: drums

Aline Homzy: violin

Jeremy Potts: violin

Beth Silver: cello

Laurence Schaufele: viola

Emilie-Claire Barlow: voice / vocals

Robin Dann: voice / vocals

Michelle Willis: voice / vocals

Laila Biali: voice / vocals

Lydia Persaud: voice / vocals

Felicity WIlliams: voice / vocals Alex Samaras: voice / vocals

Recorded at Revolution Recording

Engineered by David Hermiston

Mixed by David Hermiston

Mastered by João Carvalho

Produced by Amanda Tosoff and David Hermiston

Art: Sonia Beckwith


Five years after her Juno-nominated album Words, Amanda Tosoff delivers her latest blend of powerful words and beautiful music, this time with seven different vocalists. Felicity Wililams is in fine form, as always. Michelle Willis never disappoints, and she harmonizes splendidly with Alex Samaras. Lydia Persaud turns in a prize-worthy performance, and Robin Dann also nails it. Then there are the legends-in-the-making — Laila Biali and Emilie-Claire Barlow — who deliver their own incredible performances. With quality musicianship and a strong vision, Earth Voices is a marvelously poetic adventure that warrants repeated listening.

Jaymz Bee (JAZZ.FM91)