On TO ONE, Croatian-born Lela Kaplowitz delivers a collection of songs that expressively hearken back to the singer/songwriter era of the 1970s, reviving the spirit of such ground-breaking artists as Carole King, Laura Nyro, and Roberta Flack. Kaplowitz, who has been lauded by jazz vocal legend Sheila Jordan as “an extremely talented vocalist” and Bobby McFerrin as having a “wonderful voice,” presents a nuanced mélange of pop, soul, jazz, and even folk music on TO ONE.
TO ONE opens with the folk rock-tinged Liila, which features an uplifting violin intro and lyrics delivering a timeless message. Capturing the essence of the 1970s, Human Tapestry is in many ways like a stylistic tribute to Carole King, and You Gave me Wings evokes the soulful, smooth vocals of Roberta Flack.
Elevating messages flow throughout the tracks on TO ONE, whether the song be a funky ballad such as Love Is All There Is, or a cheerful pop declaration such as You Will See. The well-honed interplay of Kaplowitz’s vocals with the animated, powerful, and almost vocal tone of her husband Joe Kaplowitz’s organ performance shines in the spare yet animated With Every Breath. TO ONE closes with Love Prayer, an aptly titled song that reflects the spirit of inclusiveness and empowerment that permeates the entire album.
Kaplowitz’s biography states that she “gives something artistic to the world, making people look at ordinary things in a new way and inspiring them to see with a new perspective.” TO ONE is a testament to that and more.