‘ONE OF US’ is Boston-based pianist Ramona Borthwick’s newest CD release as a leader, and the successor to her well-received debut ‘A New Leaf’. With a depth that stretches beyond her previous work, it showcases her evolution as an artist and composer. The ten original compositions feature Ramona's distinctive multi-textural writing, piano playing and vocal styles. Stellar performances from trumpet player Ingrid Jensen, guitarist Noel Borthwick, bassist Johannes Weidenmueller and drummer Adam Cruz abound, making this ‘concept’ album a rewarding listener experience.
A gifted composer, Ramona's music conveys a story like quality, spiritual depth, infectious energy and cliché free intuitive flow. While rooted in the jazz tradition, her compositions often draw from her other musical influences such as ECM and classical music, Brazilian jazz and her legacy from India. Artfully crafted with frequent thematic changes and sometimes funky hooks, the compositions retain their lyrical quality while giving the band ample room to flex their chops on.
Produced by Noel Borthwick, and recorded, mixed and mastered in high definition audiophile format at 24 bit/96 KHz resolution, the production captures every nuance of the performances making it a treat for audiophile listeners.
"Borthwick, who authored all the pieces in this self- produced and self-released CD, walks both sides of the street, playing excellent, if not quite distinctive, straightahead piano throughout, while adding her shimmering, wordless soprano lines to selected ensembles along the way. She does this sparingly, sometimes subtlety, and frequently hauntingly, never scatting or soloing but instead embedding and camouflaging herself deep into meticulously orchestrated unison lines in which her voice seems to float on piano, guitar and horn... For a work intended to be personal and perhaps introspective, the music is unusually alive, frisky and free from brooding pensiveness. "
— JOHN McDONOUGH, HotBox Review - Downbeat Magazine, May 2010
"I like the warm spiritual vibe, especially Borthwick's wordless vocals, a la Flora Purim. "
— PAUL de BARROS, HotBox Review - Downbeat Magazine, May 2010
"Borthwick has a lyrical, uncluttered approach to the piano and her undoubted virtuosity never overshadows the melodicism inherent in her compositions, which makes for very attractive solos—fluid and graceful, and her employment of keyboards on a couple of tracks providing a different texture which is no less appealing. As impressive a pianist as Borthwick is, it is the strength and depth of the compositions which provides the lasting impression on this recording... One Of Us is a delightful reminder from Ramona Borthwick and her quintet that jazz this good never goes out of style."
— IAN PATTERSON, AAJ
"The wonderful music of 'One of Us' dwells on the interconnection of all things ... Ramona Borthwick proves that there is some depth among younger composers. Her bright work is agape at the immensity of all things. It appears that she looks at the world with childlike wonder, but is also privy to the true and deep nature of what she sees..."
— RAUL d'GAMA ROSE, Editor, AAJ
"She's a fine player, displaying a style that has its roots in mainstream jazz. Her solos are often lyrical (listen to the beauty and strength of the title track) and she can really dig into her phrases. Her wordless vocals add yet another color to several of the tracks, mixing well with the guitar and trumpet or flugelhorn."
— RICHARD KAMIN
"I strongly recommend to my fellow programmers that they check out the new disc from Ramona Borthwick 'One of Us'. I just added her to my Heavy Rotation. Her new disc was a real find for me, one of those 'surprises' that I didn't expect when I put it on in my car. Ramona is a keyboardist (piano, Rhodes, etc.) and composer. Her new disc is features her own contemporary, while progressive and substantive, compositions. The playing on here is stellar by all the band (Ramona has some chops!), notably Ingrid Jensen on trumpet. Ramona was born and raised in India, and I rather suspect that her upbringing there has had a big influence on her compositional style."
— Dr. BRADLEY STONE, Music Director KSJS, 5-time winner of "Jazz Programmer of the Year" at JazzWeek and Gavin; 2008 winner of the Duke DuBois Humanitarian Award
"'One of Us' is a formidable achievement, with beautiful and memorable playing by the entire quintet. The recording radiates top-flight professionalism in every respect, with imaginative, rhythmically buoyant originals throughout as well as wonderfully assured, distinguished ensemble and solo playing by each performer. Noel, Ramona and Ingrid set the tone immediately in "Who's Your Mama" with smoking, fluent solos evoking real energy and elan. The rhythm section is fabulous: tight, swinging and polished on every tune. The production values and recorded sound are outstanding and distinctive, too. Brava and kudos for this remarkable and impressive accomplishment!"
— JACK GALLAGHER, Composer, producer of 2007 Grammy-award winning recording of Messiaen's Oiseaux exotiques, Olive Williams Kettering Professor of Music, The College of Wooster
"Pianist-vocalist Ramona Borthwick has created a most engaging program of original quintet music. Her compositions are complex and filled with surprises, and the performances, layered in rich textures and colors, are distinguished by the unique blending of her voice and Ingrid Jensen's trumpet.
— BOB BERNOTAS, Host, Just Jazz in 'New & Recommended CD's for Feb 2010'.
"'One Of Us' is an album that you can listen to many times, always getting new and rewarding things from. I really hope that this effort becomes a must listen to, for jazz lovers around the world, such as myself, a pianist and composer from México City... My most sincere congratulations to Ramona and her team for making such a great album that I am sure, will endure the passing of time and become a collector's item in the jazz music world."
— EUGENIO TOUSSAINT, Pianist, composer & Grammy nominee