- DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE (USA)
"With Mahoroba, Japanese-born and New York-based singer/pianist Akiko Pavolka has conjured up a culture-stitching sound. With her understated vocals, she wraps her timbre around distinctive melodies off to the side of pop and jazz structures and harmonies. Her Japanese Lyrics... convey strong emotive moods" - by Josef Woodard in the June 2013 issue
- WNYC New York Public Radio (USA)
"Pavolka's wistful melody gives way to a grand, emotional climax."
- THE NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD (USA)
“Deeply felt vocals sung in Japanese against a band perfectly in tune with her timbre and phrasing define pianist/vocalist Akiko Pavolka’s Mahoroba… Pavolka’s voice is deeply resonant, hyper-mature in a way and carries with it a gorgeous round resonance… her piano style is measured and likewise richly tonal, imparting an overall harmony to compositions that stylistically borrow from and blend together pop, jazz and Japanese balladry.” -by Elliott Simon,
- JAZZ JOURNAL (UK)
"House of Illusion has been in operation for 15 years now with varying personnels and has evolved into a strong contemporary outfit with an unusual and indefinable angle on jazz/pop. The two most obvious strengths, apart from Pavolka's haunting voice, are the songs themselves and Loren Stillman's lyrical. tough-tender saxophone." - by Brian Morton
- JAZZ TIMES (USA)
"If Mahoroba is a type of Japanese utopia, Akiko Pavolka and her sextet, House of Illusion, do everything they can to get there. An understated bliss pervades the album, her fifth as a leader, with the soft timbre of Loren Stillman’s alto saxophone complementing Pavolka’s plangent vocals. “Child of Summer” wends a path through the rich atmospherics the singer-pianist has honed for the past 15 years leading the group in New York, maintaining an illusion of tranquility with something beneath the surface." -by Aidan Levy
- TIME OUT NEW YORK (USA)
"Pianist-singer Akiko Pavolka presents her rich, involved compositions, informed as much by Joni Mitchell as by jazz"
- JAZZWISE MAGAZINE (UK)
"MAHOROBA (Fresh Sound New Talent) : A pianist-vocalist with her New York-based House of Illusion group (featuring saxophonist Loren Stillman) suggests a more left-field, Japanese language version of Kate Bush." -by Selwyn Harris
- CADENCE MAGAZINE (USA)
"In her album [Begin Again], Pavolka's low-pitched voice hovering over a weave of piano, clarinet and bowed bass...like a purring Jeanne Lee. Darkly beautiful melody."