All Wandering Hearts
Release Date: July 31, 2020
Label: Dot Time Records
Dot Time Records recording artist Nicole Zuraitis’ fourth album as a bandleader, All Wandering Hearts explores the raw emotions and tribulations of life on the road as a full-time musician. Listeners will take a journey through genre-bending jazz-adjacent soundscapes that are both complex and lyrical in nature. Delving into themes of love, loss, and exploration, the album is an insight into the experience of the creative mind in today’s socio-political climate. Alongside Nicole, the album features an all-star cast of New York City based musicians including Idan Morim on guitar, Dan Pugach on drums, Alex Busby Smith on bass, Carmen Staaf on the rhodes and organ, Thana Alexa on vocals, Elise Testone on vocals and Chase Potter on strings.
All Wandering Hearts consists of seven original compositions by Zuraitis, and three unique arrangements of classic songs. On this impassioned release, Zuraitis taps into the psyche of modern-day America with her clever songwriting and stunning vocal performance. The tracks of this album cover major issues that working artists face on the road such as maintaining their mental and physical health, homesickness, relationship woes, coping with death, social media burnout, exhaustion, mercurial emotions and the constant worry of making ends meet. “With this diversion into the songwriting world, I wanted to pay homage to my jazz roots and the great american songbook,” Zuraitis notes.
All Wandering Hearts begins with a Zuraitis original, the dynamic “Make it Flood”; a beautifully vulnerable proclamation of hope. “Make it Flood” introduces audiences to the stunning interplay of this steadfast rhythm section and Nicole’s warm, virtuosic vocal stylings. This track begins our journey on a collection of songs which allow us insight into the inner workings of a wandering heart, and the mind of a musician who works six nights a week while doing her best to make time for her spouse, foster dogs and her family. The album continues with the second track “The Way Home”, a fiery song that documents the pain of loss and the feeling of missing a loved one, and at once is a reminder to “find your way home” when you’re feeling lost. Stellar guitar-work from Idan Morim and string playing from Chase Potter surround Nicole’s assured refrains.
“Overdrive Mind” echoes the voices of many who find solace in escaping from harsh realities and the constant pressures that one puts on themselves through secluding oneself. The track speaks to mental health woes that can be associated with the lifestyle of the modern-day musician, but also makes a much larger message about the stigma of mental health in our culture.
Aside from Nicole’s captivating original compositions, All Wandering Hearts features three new arrangements of classic songs that speak to the album’s overarching themes of traveling, both abroad and inward. “Send Me On My Way”, another song chronicling an inner journey, originally written and recorded by 90’s rock band Rusted Root gets a soulful makeover by Zuraitis. “What a Wonderful World” written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss, popularized by Louis Armstrong, gets a stripped down solemn treatment made particularly impactful given the devastating effect of Covid-19 on the country’s current socio-political climate, and collective emotional well-being. Nicole laments “What a Wonderful World used to be such a hopeful song for me; but the current world climate both physically and politically, makes the song translate as pure melancholy. But the intention of hope is still there.”
"The lyric and undertone of her vocalizing still communicate hope, but hope feeling the impact of the current world socio-political climate." Read the full review here.
NEW YORK MUSIC DAILY
“Zuraitis has an intense, big-picture presence: her mind always seems to be racing, and she’s always looking for a respite, a reprieve. And she can be a hell of a lyricist." Read the full review here.
Nicole Zuraitis Showcases Superb Songcraft With ‘Hearts’ Album. Read the full feature article here.
MAKING A SCENE!
"This is far more interesting than the bulk of so-called jazz vocal albums, due to Nicole’s musicianship, her willingness to take some chances, and her infusion of other genres into her singular sound." Read the full review here.
"An inspiring set that is just right for anyone that misses Joni Mitchell flights of fancy when she brought the jazz and her audience wasn't ready for it. Tasty stuff throughout, contemporary jazz vocal fans have a nice, meaty date to really sink their teeth into here." Read the full review here.
"All Wandering Hearts, her fourth album as leader, shows how the vocalist and pianist adapts the skills learned from fronting large bands to a set of solid pop songs." Review here.
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
"Her delivery maintains an intimate tone that remains relatable throughout; here she's an actress as much as a singer, conveying emotional shades without quite emoting." Read the full review here.
D. OSCAR GROOMES
"Vocalist, pianist, composer, arranger and producer Nicole Zuraitis has been decorated at every step of her musical career." Read the full review here.