Agnieszka Iwanska - "All That I Am" - by Brad Walseth, www.jazzchicago.net:
A sure cure for the melancholy blues, Polish-American Chicago-based singer Agnieszka Iwanska's new CD, "All That I Am," is a joyous romp that is like a breath of fresh air with its somewhat retro feel and unabashedly positive romantic spin. Is there a place in this harried modern world for music that seems to exist in an aura of dancing lightness? I sure as heck hope so. Strong songwriting, with music composed by keyboardist Paul Scherer, runs throughout the nine tunes here (three additional Polish language versions round out the twelve tracks).
The melange of pop, Brazilian, and ' 70s-influenced funk jazz is delightful ear candy, centered by Scherer's tasteful synthesizers and pianos, and driven by the solid bass work of Scotty Manzo and the underrated Paul Townsend on drums. Saxophonist Scott Angst adds well-conceived solos, while Shawn Maxwell's brilliant flute takes "Thinking About You" into another realm. Songs like the title track, "Live Each Moment," "Love Around," "The Truth" and "Still Alive" and "Wonderland" will restore your joy with a combination of shimmering vocals, smooth sounds and subtle and seductive grooves.
Energetic numbers like the title track, the bouncy "Thinking About You," and catchy "Wonderland" had the audience smiling and tapping their toes, while the luminous ballad/lullaby "Midnight Moonlight" was equally memorable. The Iwanska/Scherer compositions are filled with light, utterly joyous and as welcome as a summer breeze. A wonderful and truly enjoyable set from this lovely up-and-coming young singer, her band and her collaborator/music director, Scherer." - Brad Walseth, Jazzchicago.net