The Ostara Project (Cellar Music Group)

The Ostara Project

Released November 2022

JAZZ FM 25 Best Jazz Albums of 2022

YouTube:

https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_neZj7qFieqMllTrXDrs70xEWOK5N7R9sg

Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/intl-pt/album/3G7Br8OKssPWvd7rJuXtpD?si=Shfybnh_Rf24WczRiKXWdA

About:

The lush arrangements arise from the fruitful collaboration of 7 outstanding artists, each a bandleader & composer in her own right.
For Canadians, the arrival of spring is momentous: the scent of the air is fresh and full of possibility as tender green shoots reach up towards light and warmth. This album embodies the hope of spring—of growth, rebirth and renewal.
It’s an apt theme for a musical collaboration named after Ostara, the Germanic goddess of the spring equinox. This group is the brainchild of co-leaders Amanda Tosoff and Jodi Proznick. The album features lush arrangements that arise from the fruitful collaboration of outstanding Canadian jazz artists who embody the geographic, cultural and ethnic diversity of the Canadian mosaic. Their commitment to play so as to best serve the music allows them to tackle a diversity of musical styles with grace and artistry.

The hope of spring is precious because it rises out of the darkness of winter. Inspired by a day of tempestuous winter rain in Montreal, Rachel Therrien’s Lluviona is a tribute to a tragic figure in Mexican folklore, La Llorona, who roams the coastline, mourning her drowned children. Jocelyn Gould’s Tides are Turning is the story of a young woman who feels misunderstood by the world, her anguish transformed into art by the improvised guitar solos which represent her prayers. Rise is Sanah Kadoura’s powerful anthem about pushing through the darkness of life to a place where the heart is transformed and light and energy form the foundation of a new self-worth. Delta Sky is Allison Au’s tribute to New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz and a city that has met with devastating challenges but remains a powerful example of how music builds community. And Jodi Proznick’s Storms and Oceans is a compelling call to living a new truth, embodied by a woman lying in the moonlight, navigating the turmoil created by the need for change in her life.

Within the struggle to hope are fragile moments of peace. Joanna Majoko delivers resonate and deeply soulful melodic embellishments that glide effortlessly over a spirited groove in her arrangement of Bye Bye Blackbird, infusing this popular standard with a darker and deeper emotional tone. And Little One, with lyrics by Jodi Proznick and music by Amanda Tosoff, is a love song of hope and joy from a mother to her child, infused with the wonder of new life. New growth rising out of the darkness, stretching for new light and life, propelled by hope. This is the music of Ostara.

Lisa Buck (Calgary, Alberta, June 2022)

Track Listing:

1. Delta Sky (Allison Au) 04:39

2. Storms and Oceans (Jodi Proznick / Noah Franche-Nolan) 07:09

3. Little One (Amanda Tosoff / Jodi Proznick) 05:44

4. Lluviona (Rachel Therrien) 05:59

5. Tides Are Turning (Jocelyn Gould) 05:39

6. Bye Bye (bass intro) (Jodi Proznick) 01:24

7. Bye Bye Blackbird (Ray Henderson / Mort Dixon) 06:07

8. Rise (Sanah Kadoura) 07:15

Personnel:

Allison Au: alto saxophone
Jocelyn Gould: guitar
Joanna Majoko. vocals
Jodi Proznick: bass
Rachel Therrien: trumpet
Amanda Tosoff: piano
Sanah Kadoura: drums

Recorded February 14, 2022, at The Warehouse Studios, Vancouver, BC

Produced by Jodi Proznick and Amanda Tosoff

Engineered, Mixed and Mastered by Sheldon Zaharko

Design and Layout bu Perry Chua

Cover Art by Lori Popadiuk

Executive Producer: Cory Weeds

Review:

Canada is rich in resources of the natural jazz kind, and we are seeing that musical wealth spread out more and more across gender boundaries. This year saw the launch of a new Canadian supergroup The Ostara Project, co-created by Amanda Tosoff and Jodi Proznick, showcasing artists from across Canada, all of whom are established, successful bandleaders in their own rights. The membership also includes Jocelyn Gould, Sanah Kadoura, Allison Au, Rachel Therrien and Joanna Majoko. All members of the group contribute to the compositions and arrangements and all are showcased for their skills at interpretation and improvisation. Their self-titled debut release features lots of terrific original material, as well as a fantastic arrangement of Bye Bye Blackbird.

Heather Bambrick (JAZZ.FM91)