Olivia Foschi – A Window Within (ENG review)

Street Date : June 8th 2024
World Jazz
Olivia Foschi - A Window Within

Here’s an album as surprising as it is beautiful, the work of an artist who studied in Italy and now brightens the days of New York. It’s difficult to pinpoint a specific style, except for her vocal style, which she uses to explore very contemporary paths built on everything she has absorbed over the years: from her time in Italy, her travels in Africa, to her life as an artist. Having collaborated on numerous albums, she now presents her third personal album, “A Window Within”.

Throughout the album, she plays with rhythms and vocal colors, drawing influences from Latin to African. One can even notice European influences in the arrangements. The most African-influenced track is undoubtedly the opening one, “Caught Me By Surprise,” a technical feat that immediately establishes its poetic and literary form, which runs through the entire album.

I remain completely fascinated by the construction of this album, and it’s time to acknowledge the excellent musicians who skillfully showcase Olivia Foschi’s voice. Mauricio Zottarelli on drums and percussion, Matt King on piano, Rhodes, and Melodica, Marco Panascia on bass, and Vinicius Gomes on guitar—all of them contribute to creating a vivid and multicolored cinematic experience.

The musical arrangements match Olivia Foschi’s vocal quality, making the album pass by too quickly, prompting multiple listens to grasp its depth fully. Particularly noteworthy is the Italian track “Cun La Prema Stela,” a language that sounds so beautiful when sung so well.

This album is truly multicultural, where experiences joyfully collide. Strangely, I found as much pleasure in this album as I did in one by Madredeus, the Portuguese group that also centered on a voice quite similar to Olivia’s. What’s remarkable here is the intentional blending of genres. Having listened to this artist’s previous albums, I honestly think this one is the most personal and profound. When an artist reaches such a level of artistic mastery, it’s commendable. You’ll notice that in the stylistic arrangements, there’s never an attempt to mimic another culture; instead, intentions are set to complement Olivia’s voice. Beyond the music, I urge you to focus on the beauty of the lyrics. It’s so challenging to write and make them resonate, and this album exemplifies that. It’s exactly the kind of album we love to champion, even though we understand it’s not for everyone. Olivia Foschi has her own unique style and makes no compromises on artistic integrity and quality, which requires a certain level of cultural understanding to appreciate fully. These are the qualities that make this album, like many others we select, an “essential.” You’ll have to wait a little longer to succumb to the charm of this album.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, May 11th 2024

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