On 'Nothing But Love', Jana Herzen's diverse, soulful and sophisticated collection of folk/pop/world/jazz originals, the singer-songwriter and guitarist reaches new heights as a storyteller and composer.
With its unexpected juxtapositions of isolation, loss, and melancholy, alongside eye winking fun, hopeful 'turning the page' and finding the courage to consider letting the sun back in, 'Nothing But Love' offers a complex portrait of a force that, in Herzen's words, 'makes the world go 'round'. "This cycle of 12 songs -one of which I wrote on a napkin in an NYC jazz club as far back as the 1980's- has long desired to see the light of day." she explains. "Each song is inspired by a particular moment, place, or person in my life. Together, they tell a tale of love in many guises."
Herzen's varied and colorful history infuses her writing. Raised by famed activist scientists Leonard and Leonore A. Herzenberg of Stanford University, her initial calling as a theater artist led her to London and then to New York City in the 1980s where she eventually became a founding member and dramaturge for the award-winning and influential MCC Theater. After ten years with MCC, she then traveled the world extensively, recorded her first album, Soup's on Fire, and eventually founded her tastemaker Motéma label in 2003.
Though she has primarily devoted her last sixteen years to leading Motéma, Herzen has never lost sight of her journey as a singer, composer, and instrumentalist. The influences of her deep immersion in diverse styles of music show up in the production and arrangements of 'Nothing But Love'. The album's soundscape benefits from the vibrancy and immediacy of being recorded 'live in the studio' by a group of seasoned jazz musicians with a shared history of working together. The chemistry of the band is palpable. Each instrumentalist brings a special gift to the table, including Herzen whose guitar work plays a key role in leading the arrangements.
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