CD REVIEW: Amanda Mabro – Die to the Past – Bitchin’ Empire
In the five years since her debut album, Superwoman in the Making, Amanda Mabro has clearly been doing much thinking about letting go of memories that enslave. That theme is all over this new disc – and it’s appropriate, given that it feels like a musical and emotional rebirth. While it’s a confidently unified piece of work – an actual album and not a bunch of tracks – the settings are, happily, varied: listen for cabaret art-rock (Moments Are Bubbles, Smoke); gentle, hook-driven pop (Get What You Pay For, I’m Not Done); big-hearted anthems (Don’t Be Subtle); an answer to James Brown (I Need a Man) and even a pinch of rockabilly (Watching the Skyline). A triumphant return. Or is that arrival? Four stars
Podworthy: Don’t Be Subtle
Bernard Perusse, Montreal Gazette, Oct 2011
Watch the Video Interview:
Osheaga Festival Review – Jordan Zivitz, Montreal Gazette, August 1st, 2010
Success on the Trees Stage — nestled by a path heavy with traffic between Osheaga’s larger sites — can be measured by audience growth between a set’s start and end. In which case, Amanda Mabro’s blazing cabaret-pop won an easy blue ribbon. If the Montrealer’s effervescence didn’t pull you in, her growling / purring vocals would have. Hell-bent on winning over a few dozen onlookers at 5 p.m., she had impressed far more by 5:30. Delightful songs, delightful presence, delightful everything.
Montreal International Jazz Fest Review – Bernard Perusse, Montreal Gazette, June 28th, 2010
It was nice to see that Amanda Mabro, one of our favourite Montreal singer-songwriters, has graduated to the prestigious Rio Tinto Alcan stage. You’ll remember it as the stage Montreal International Jazz Festival organizers used for the big blowouts before the Place des Festivals came along last year.
At Mabro’s 10 p.m. show last night — her second — she was clearly giving a high-stakes, nothing-held-back performance before a sizeable crowd of both curious onlookers and committed fans. It’s the kind of exposure that can work wonders in spreading the word, and Mabro knew it. The weather co-operated, the quality of the material was already there and the chemistry between the singer and her band, personal and musical, was impossible to miss.
After some fan favourites, Mabro demonstrated a keen sense of pacing, bringing on singer Elsiane for a few duets, including the slow cabaret burner Slow Decline and a wonderful, hushed a capella reading of the jazz standard Nature Boy. Contortionist Andreane Leclerc added surreal circus-like visuals to Smoke.
And the band kept going for broke, building Say What You Want into a brain-damage crescendo, and upping the energy level of the pop pounder Believe or Be Left. The closing number, Don’t It Feel Good, kicked off with Mabro removing her shoes. The gauntlet thrown down, she incited a singalong, rapped, twirled and leaped her way into a frenzy, as pianist Rick Coluccio played with runaway-train desperation and violinist Briga joyfully wailed away. That, my friends, was a set-ender.
And, hey, were those tears we saw Mabro wiping away when it was all over?
APATHY IS BORING – MARCH 2010 Interview
Amanda talks about the importance of community
Read the full article with MP3 downloads here
MONTREAL GAZETTE – MARCH 2010
Amanda Mabro, Amy Millan, Jason Bajada and more “Busk For Change” to raise money for War Child
Read article here
MONTREAL MIRROR – FEB 2010
The Montreal Mirror gets excited about Amanda’s fifth annual We Are Women Artists (WAWA) festival
Read the full article here
MONTREAL GAZETTE – NOV 2009
The Montreal Gazette touts the Amanda Mabro & Elsiane show as the best musical event to catch, Friday, November 27 Read full article by Bernard Perusse
THE CONCORDIAN – NOV 2009 – Interview
Read the full article here
CBC RADIO 1 Home Run Show – JUNE 2008
Amanda Mabro’s new CD Red Rows is a “groundbreaking” record that features music by an artist whose sound is “unlike anything heard before”.
MONTREAL MIRROR – NOV 2008
“More bold moves, tender tales and brassy craft from our local cabaret songstress.”
MONTREAL GAZETTE FEATURE – OCT 2008
Thousands of converts drawn to Mabro’s fusion of drama and attitude
Read full article by Bernard Perusse
NIGHTLIFE REVIEW – WINE FLOWS EP – NOV 2008
Depuis la sortie de son premier album, Superwoman in the Making, les mélomanes de New York à Vancouver ont découvert la belle voix intensément dramatique d’Amanda Mabro. Avec ce second EP en moins d’un an (qui fait suite à Red Rows, paru au printemps), la jeune Montréalaise prouve qu’elle continue de peaufiner un son bien à elle, mélangeant les sonorités du vieux jazz et le style théâtral des cabarets allemands et français à une approche indie bien moderne. Loin de tomber dans le vieux jazz rigide, Wine Flows est au contraire léger, exubérant et jeune.(SN)
NOCTAMBULES.TV – NOV 2008
Si vous n’étiez pas au Festival International de Jazz de Montréal cette année, vous avez donc raté l’excellente prestation d’Amanda Mabro. Mais rangez vos mouchoirs, le destin est magnanime et vous offre une deuxième chance ce jeudi au Cabaret Juste Pour Rire.
Un univers Jazzy, bluesy, indie-rock, une voix absolument incroyable et un réel talent d’écriture (musiques et paroles) font de cette jeune artiste une valeur sûre de la nouvelle scène montréalaise.
Parfaitement bilingue, Amanda distille les émotions, les retient, et ne fait jamais de sa technique vocale un objet ostentatoire. Elle la met simplement au service des chansons qu’elle interprète avec pudeur. Elle a étudié la musique à New York mais a choisi de rester faire sa carrière à Montréal, alors profitons-en !
L’expérience est unique, alors fermez les yeux, ouvrez les oreilles, Amanda s’occupera du reste.
En première partie, l’excellent Jason Bajada qu’il faut également absolument connaître si ce n’est déjà fait.
MONTREAL GAZETTE – JULY 2008 – LIVE REVIEW
Miss Mabro has arrived. A longtime sweetheart of the local scene, Cabaret songstress Amanda Mabro, played to an adoring crowd of Montrealers and tourists alike gathered at the Rio Tinto stage. With a voice as striking as her polka dot dress, Mabro cooed her way through material from her new album Red Rows, like a songbird from days gone by. She was sweet as cherry pie, charming listeners as she danced about in red converse sneakers, jumping and clapping her hands like a little girl.
Passersby, en route to other shows, stopped and smiled. They too, got caught up in the wiles of Miss Mabro.
“After the show, we’ll be right over there in the Best Buy tent,” she announced, “if you’d like to chat or pick up a coffee -I mean copy! Oh god, did I just invite several thousand people for coffee?”
Cover versions of Old Fashioned Morphine and Yellow Submarine proved her own material far more compelling but she prevailed with her “signature song” -Super Woman in the Making. In the making? Miss Mabro, you’ve got it made.
MONTREAL GAZETTE – JULY 2008 – LIVE
Perhaps the best feeling comes not with scoring tickets to see legends, like Aretha Franklin, Steely Dan or Woody Allen, but when you stumble upon an astonishing free show by someone you’ve never heard of before, like Amanda Mabro or Martha High and the Shaolin Defenders. You feel like you’ve made some miraculous discovery that you have to go out and share with the world. I imagine that’s how jazz fest organizers feel. Each year they unearth these jewels, some shinier than others, and bring them here to show us. “Look what I found!”
WATCH MOJO WEB TV INTERVIEW
MONTREAL GAZETTE, March 2008
Jazz singing doesn’t necessarily have to be all sultry, dreamy and supperclub-ish. God knows, there are plenty of vocalists out there covering that turf. Amanda Mabro is different: her songs grab you by the throat and look you in the eye with cool defiance. This is big-voiced, cabaret-influenced music with a bit of garage attitude.
CBC REVIEW – MARCH 2008 – Red Rows
Fantastic E.P. from Montreal singer with a penchant for Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. But to call Mabro a jazz singer is a misnomer. Cuts like the Bandish “Better Day” and “Parlour” are a testament to her versatilty. A crystal like voice and soulful delivery make Mabro a force to be reckoned with. Mabro is certainly no Norah Jones bandwagoner. Her cabaret stuff like “Nuit Blanche” on “Red Rows” coupled with the unigue arrangements of her partner in song Cozmos Quazar allow Mabro’s unique voice to be heard all in a class by herself. 8.5/10 CBC RADIO 1 Music Columnist Duke Eatmon
MONTREAL MIRROR – MARCH 2008
RED ROWS – CD REVIEW
With a versatile vocal style ranging from a coquettish coo to a milk-curdling brassiness, Montreal’s Amanda Mabro shines on this six-track disc, a departure from the Cabaret Band stylings of old. Backed by fluid arrangements of piano, guitars, percussion, violin, accordion and synths, and deftly produced by her right-hand man, Cozmos Quazar, Mabro & cie fuse what were once evident influences into something more modern and unique. A cover of Jolie Holland’s “Old Fashioned Morphine” is an umbilical cord to the blues, but their timely tune “Nuit Blanche,” in French and coated in pixie dust, sounds like a key to the future. 8/10 (Lorraine Carpenter)
MONTREAL GAZETTE – APRIL 2008
HOT YOUNG SINGLES: Amanda Mabro: How Long. This robust, catchy number has a show-tune assertiveness that keeps it playing in your head all the time. And we do mean that in a good way. Available at: www.amandamabro.com and on her latest EP, Red Rows.
Montreal Buzz: Dig The New Cabaret With Amanda Mabro
“Rigid jazz purists and Michael Buble fans may not approve……Mabro has molded a unique sound that’s steeped in tradition and topped with modern texture and sass.”
Read the full article here: Chartattack April 2006
“cette chanteuse allumée donne dans ce qu’on appelle du «cabaret jazz», avec beaucoup d’humour et une pointe de nostalgie.”
- L’Actualité, Nov 2006
The indie-cabaret of Montreal chanteuse Amanda Mabro
“Mabro is possessed of a distinctive rich voice that hails from the goodtime lounges of the 1920s. It wraps around phrases with a self-assured expressiveness and natural vivacity that effortlessly conjures up visions of from any of the jazz ages–the theatricality of the ’20s, the glamour of the ’50s, even the Manhattan Transfer-style jazz informed by the energy of rock songwriters in the ’70s.”
- SEE Magazine (Edmonton, Alberta) Full Article June 2006
THE MONTREAL MIRROR
Amanda Mabro and the Cabaret Band
Superwoman in the Making (XXI-21)
Cool but not distant, gutsy but not brassy, sexy but not sleazy, this local group’s proper debut is a class act. Co-written and produced by Cabaret Band member Cozmos Quazar, the 13-track record features light, fluid arrangements of voice, piano, bass, drums and acoustic guitar. Mabro’s versatile voice and confident lyrics pack in a lot of personality, a refreshing change from the sometimes vacant, wispy singers and writers in contemporary jazz pop. In a genre that’s so often relegated to retro, or watered down by hacks, Mabro and the Cabaret Band’s music lives and breathes. 7.5/10 (Lorraine Carpenter) CD launch at Main Hall, Fri., April 14, 9 p.m., $8
-Lorraine Carpenter, Montreal Mirror April 2006
Amanda Mabro’s strong jazzy voice creates a whole pop-cabaret, almost carnivalesque experience. The only words my friend was able to say at that point in the night were: “Wow!”
LIVE review from Montreal’s Concordia University paper, Feb 2007
Superwoman in the Making
Ms. Mabro’s album may have a “contempo jazz tag,” but for me, her throaty delivery sounds a lot more burlesque and cabaret than it does Norah Jones. I don’t mean to be rude – not having met Amanda in person – but this is no skinny chick singing: these are round-bottomed, curvy jazz-ish songs with some balls to them. (Did I just call her a fat man?) The title track is the best, most fully realized song on the album, which progresses smoothly despite the stops and starts of piano, bass, guitar and drums. Producer and co-writer Cosmos Quazar deserves credit here, as there is nothing amateurish about this album’s arrangement. This is good, this is different, and you might like this. HOUR May 2006
“I felt as though I was in a sultry, smoke-filled German cabaret in the 1920s…the room was packed with jazz fans transfixed by the sexy, powerful voice of Mabro as she seemed to channel Julie London, Holly Cole and Lotte Lenya through her tiny frame…Backed by only piano and drums, the music was tight, the sound was full and the audience hollered its appreciation…Some even danced.” Full Article – Sept 2006, The SOO TODAY, Sault Ste Marie, ON
“There’s jazz, and then there’s the unique sound found on Amanda Mabro’s debut album.”
Full Article – Sept 2006, SceneandHeard.ca
“Old School Cabaret Meets New School Rock”
- Canmore Leader, Alberta Full Article June 2006
“A little Billie, a little Garland, a little Ella, great keys and a 21st-century beat.
It’s jazz for real people.”
Andy Frank, DJ, CIUT FM Toronto
“Mabro’s singing is indeed seductive, and along with the inescapable force of her Cabaret Band to cementing their signature sound, you might find yourself in love and grooving along.”
-Wavelength, Toronto June 2006
Amanda Mabro, Superwoman in the Making
If Amanda Mabro and her Cabaret Band hailed from anywhere in Canada besides Montreal, something would feel off. Montreal is Canada’s arts centre (and no, not just because the Arcade Fire made it famous), and its European flair and metropolitan feel give the city an edge many others in the country lack. Mabro’s deep, sultry vocals and prominent upright bass lines harken images of smoky jazz clubs with high-class patrons—a scene that’s fitting for Mabro’s Montreal. Superwoman in the Making is the band’s debut record, and without knowing exactly what they wanted to accomplish, it’s probably not wrong to say that Amanda Mabro & the Cabaret Band are proud of the album they’ve created. Musically lush, with strings and pianos galore, and spot-on producing, Superwoman in the Making is a wonderful piece of jazz-pop past and present. SOULSHINE Oct 2006
Amanda Mabro and the Cabaret Band
Superwoman in the Making, XXI-21 Records
Amanda Mabro’s debut lives up to the backing band’s cabaret moniker. She’s got the cabaret thing down pat. Her vocals are delightfully charming and the backing fluid. “One fine Man” sounds like a song from the forties but she wrote it herself. “1000 Years” is a sprightly song that appears to have popped out of another time too. “Swing with Me” is sweet and jazzy, Mabro’s gorgeous vocal and presence elevating it. “Beautiful Songs” is what the title says, a slow sultry purr of a song with a sting in the tail. This debut is maybe born out of time, but its world is a lovely place.
Luna Kafé May 2006
Amanda Mabro & the Cabaret Band’s 26-year-old front woman defies labels. She’s confident yet humble, bubbly yet grounded. Naturally, her debut CD isn’t easy to describe. You could call Superwoman in the Making your grandma’s jazz, if your grandma is a finger-snappin’, heel-kickin’, hip-shakin’ hottie who loves The Doors. Mabro and her band mates, keyboardist Cozmos Quazar and drummer Patrick Rizzetto, call their music “cabaret pop,” a sound they’ll be carting across Canada later this month…
FULL ARTICLE: Montreal Magazine May 2006
Langoureuse Amanda Mabro
Le paysage musical du jazz s’enorgueillit de magnifiques talents qui demandent à être davantage connus. Prenez la chanteuse Amanda Mabro. Qui a la double qualité d’être auteure-compositeure-interprète. Elle se produit sur la scène locale en compagnie du Cabaret band. Elle nous fait cadeau de treize pièces bien senties qui respirent langueur et coquinnerie. Sur la dernière plage “Carte blanche” il y un invité spécial, le pianiste Matt Herskowitz. Mme Mabro a un beau médium qu’elle balance avec une jolie désinvolture. Cette belle possession de ses moyens est communicatrice. Culture Hebdo Mars 2006
“Her powerful, cabaret-balladeer voice and skat rhythms usher in a different kind of retro-chic” For full article: Wet Label May 2006
“Prenez place, tendez l’oreille et laissez vous transporter dans l’univers d’Amanda Mabro…” Canada Français Avril 2006
Amanda Mabro, 3 song + Video – 3” CDR (Distroboto)
Here is 3 Songs in the Cabaret standards style by Amanda Mabro. I normally would not like this as I hate most Cabaret and Musical music but because of Amanda’s soulful voice that certainly is not as theatrical as one would expect and the interesting arrangements taken upon by the band, it just sounds good. More importantly is that those songs, despite their cabaret-style structure are mostly very catchy in a very pop way. Definitely a woman to keep an eye on, and it shouldn’t be too hard on your eyes to do so.
“This music has a theatrical air to it that I think would play very well live.
For full review: Collected Sounds March 2006
Wine Flows EP
Red Rows EP
Superwoman in the Making
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