By Kerilie McDowall | Published January 2020
Capturing a sense of Gaia’s wisdom on her earthy release, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Alice Zawadzki’s grounded connection illuminates eight dramatic compositions hued with mystique and eclecticism. Love stories, social justice, sadness and a touch of whimsy flow from Zawadzki’s pen as she brews a genre-potpourri of folk and pop, fused with elements of jazz, r&b, classical and Celtic. Her violin creates intense textures in unison with the soul-drenched Amika String Quartet on the title track. Based on Emil Aarestrup’s writing, it’s a reflection of Zawadzki’s uplifting philosophy, which was detailed in an email to DownBeat: “[T]here is always a powerful and mysterious seed inside us that is growing, working, promising new life ... . Even the coldest winter will always reliably give way to spring.” Zawadzki’s stellar vocals complement the r&b and gospel influence on “Keeper,” and then she bonds with the forest for “The Woods,” a tune centered on her spoken-word poetry. Emphasizing the powerful force of love in reuniting an estranged couple, the bandleader reassures listeners on “O Mio Amore,” the album’s comforting closer.
Within You Is A World Of Spring: Within You Is A World Of Spring; God’s Children; Superior Virtue; Es Verdad; The Woods; Keeper; Twisty Moon; O Mio Amore. (50:11)
Personnel: Alice Zawadzki, vocals, keyboards, violin; Rob Luft, guitar; Fred Thomas, drums, percussion, keyboards, tenor banjo (4, 8); Misha Mullov-Abbado, bass; Hyelim Kim, taegum (5); Simmy Singh, Laura Senior, violin (1, 2, 7, 8); Lucy Nolan, viola (1, 2, 7, 8); Peggy Nolan, cello (1, 2, 7, 8).