As Time Goes By – A CD review by Francesco Sorrenti, President of Holly Music in Treviso, Italy
Maria is surely one of the most talented singers I have heard in the last few years. This CD is so captivating. I love her voice and style with her incredible sense of melody. Her tender phrasing is nothing short of perfection — intimate and warm, cool and beautiful diction. There is an elegance of orchestration, of melodic build-up that makes this CD majestic and memorable. It’s time to pay the tribute she is due. She is in a class of her own for her honest and involving soulfulness. The believability of her poignant vocals truly stand out from the shadows to enlighten our hearts. In all the songs, she sings like she feels it, and always comes straight to our emotions. It is particularly fascinating to hear her sensibility in this lavish context with her outstanding musical partners, all of them with their own relaxed delivery expressing a boom of strength and discipline. Maria puts her own stamp to every song.
In the opening track “As Time Goes By,” the voice is carefully measured. Campbell Ryga embellishes his alto sax solo with delicate inlays. In “Tenderly,” Maria uses her superb control and perfect diction, offering a wistful reading while the tenor sax solo of Seamus Blake draws the listener in, tinged with yearning. “That Sunday, That Summer” continues to astound with Maria’s nuances and the classic guitar of Torben Oxbol. Even on piano he is consistently tasteful and supportive. “What The World Needs Now” deserves full support. This gorgeous ballad seems to have been tailored for the singer and the violin of Lionel Young creates a precious interplay in the intervals while Maria wraps each note with her tender but penetrating voice. A great album that gives an emotional glow of great intensity.
“What a fabulous voice she’s got! She’s a great talent!” – Emmy Award-winner, Michael Leader, President of Leader D-Cinema Systems, Inc.
“You have excellent timbre … a voice suited to jazz.” – Ian McDougall, trombonist, composer, educator, Professor Emeritus – University of Victoria
“To hear her sing is like a breath of fresh air.” – Gary Barclay, radio broadcaster (CHQM, National Public Radio and CBC).
“First of all, let me congratulate you on your great singing! Your voice sounds very full and has a very nice tone and timbre, and your intonation is perfect. I like your interpretation very much.” – George Robert, Director of the Jazz Department at Lausanne Conservatory in Switzerland, alto saxophonist, Officer in the Order of Arts and Letter of France.
“It’s difficult to put into words how much I love the music . . . it is flawless. I work as a police officer assigned to a high school. My drive home to our ranch takes awhile since my son and I live in the country. Point being, is I look forward to the end of the day listening to your music during the trip home. Even my 14-year old son listens to it with me. I will order more for my daughters and relatives. Thank you so much.”– Sincerely, Rick Dutcher, Douglas, Wyoming
“I first heard your music on Coast to Coast with George Noory. I always listen to your music after work, or on a rainy day to make the sunshine come out and feel warm. I’m looking forward to hearing more great music from you in the future.” – Callen C. Carroll
“As a testimony to the power of live music, when it’s well sung and well played, I’d have to say that listening to Miss Ho’s lovely singing voice and the Jazz instrumentals that accompanied it, I can say that it’s the happiest I’ve genuinely felt in 3 years of living in Vancouver. In fact, I can say that it’s the happiest I felt in the 5 years since my dad died.” – Dracul Van Helsing
“She’s good!” – George Noory, Coast to Coast AM
“A CD with intense light – poetic, singular, and suggestive. A unique attraction on the jazz scene, her pearly, refined singing is a breath of fresh air made tangible by her intimate voice. Contemplative introductions cross harmonic space in an apparent absence of gravity. Through her effortless, graceful phrasing, the fine distribution of the melody in an oblique play of suspensions and dilations, shifts of accents and tensions, Maria Ho is a mature and very credible singer. Her music, in search of an abstraction, is intimate and sacred. Her high-level musical partners provide the necessary substratum to her songs with a sense of sincere participation that makes this album memorable. I recommend the purchase to those who want to rediscover the emotions of true jazz.”– Francesco Sorrenti, President of Holly Music, Treviso, Italy
“September in the Rain” the 7th track on the album Smile, was chosen on July 3, 2015 for the All About Jazz – Download of the Day.
All About Jazz has been awarded “Jazz Website of the Year” thirteen times by the Jazz Journalists Association.
Chosen as one of top five vocalists in “Best Vocalist Of The Month” Competition, SingerUniverse, Los Angeles, March and May 2014.
From nearly 2,000 artists, “Where or When” was selected for Amazon MP3 U.S. – the TuneCore artist compilation The Power of Independence: Volume 2, and “Little Boat/Day By Day” was chosen for Valentine’s 2013: Volume 2.
New Talent Demo Award, 2006 Recipient – FACTOR (Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Records)