..... Ilaya grew up singing before moving to the United States with her family when she was 14. Her muse first led her to dance: four years ago, she decided to concentrate on her music. 'I wanted to focus on being with my voice,' she says. 'I really had to meditate on what was comfortable and natural.' An interesting choice of adjectives, since 'comfortable' and 'natural' aptly describe Ilaya's vocal delivery on her self-produced debut CD, Ilaya. Nine tracks of all-original material cover the world music spread from Latin Jazz to Filipino folk to ethno-trance; Ilaya plays rythmn guitar and even chimes in on the Kubing, a bamboo mouth harp from her native land. Friends and noted local musicians David Correa (Spanish guitar), Tom Sawyer (accordion), Nate Lopez (upright bass), Michael Bello (tenor sax) and Eric Weidenheimmer (drums) provide a sense of Polish usually missing from most self-produced efforts. Success doesn't seem to be going to Ilaya's head. 'Who am I to possess / the rythmn of my breath?' she croons softly on the opening track; she's not one to take credit for her gifts. 'I'm not sure where it comes from,' she says, 'It's just there, and I go with it.'....... R.V. Schide, News Editor Northern California Bohemian Magazine.