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  • Jonathan Widran

YOLA NASH, Manhattan Whispers

Yola Nash gives us some fascinating and whimsical things to contemplate as we attune our ears to Manhattan Whispers, the latest sensual, dazzling album by the rapturously charming, sultry voiced singer – a set which artfully fuses harmonic and rhythmic elements of her Polish heritage with her playful passion, for Latin music. She sang for Pope John Paul II. Has performed at Fashion Week. Set a Guinness world record for creating the world’s largest theater poster (170 ft tall, for “Anne Frank.” And interviewed countless celebs as host of NY radio WABC’s “The Yola Nash Show.”

Definitely the optimistic, romantically joyous work we need to give our minds escape from these troubled sociopolitical times, the collection is co-produced by Nash with Grammy winning musicians Edsel Gomez and Lonnie Park and buoyed non-stop by Alex Meixner’s gorgeous accordion accompaniment. Nash’s nine tracks are driven by some of the sexiest, sultriest and viscerally exotic jazz/world fusion expressions in recent memory, with the spiritual, introspective piano-vocal ballad “Angel’s Tears” providing an oasis of sweet calm amidst the sly bustling magic of uplifting Latin romps like “World on Fire,” “Still Love You” and the exuberant, richly percussive “Truth Tango” and the sweet geographic and sonic leap to explore some energetic dance moves by “Lovers in Paris.”

Though interpersonal love relationships and are the overall thematic driving force, two essential songs have powerful universal applications. The percussive, infectious “Pray for Love” is a sparkling, breathy plea for hope filling a world of despair, while the sly, charming “Wonderful Life” – which features Nash’s nephews (8 year old Amadeus and 13 year old Arian Nacklicki, who inspired the song – offers a message to people of every generation about what it takes to create and sustain a “Wonderful Life.”

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