Tessa Souter: Obsession (2009)
' "Eleanor Rigby," and goes on to songs such as "Riverman," "Obsession," and "White Room," which evoke the passionate, obsessive side of love. "Afro Blue/Footprints" evokes John Coltrane's classic in an urbane manner, leading up to "Make This City Ours Tonight," while the remaining songs explore the light and dark aspects of intimacy, always with echoes of Latin genres. The instrumentalists complement Souter's singing with interpretive sensitivity, with Ennis' playing especially striking.
The songs are well-chosen and carefully crafted, and the arrangements are done with great care to evoke an intended range of feelings and stylistic changes. The recording begins on the lonely 1960s note of The Beatles
Souter stands out in a large field of contemporary jazz vocalists because, unlike most of them, she thinks before she sings and never compromises the music with irrelevancies. She thinks not only of the music itself, to which she brings ample talent and sophistication, but also almost philosophically about what she wants to say. She uses dynamics and inflections to convey a deeper sense of meaning that the songs imply, and she does it with great attention to details that most singers overlook. This contemplative aspect, along with her unique style, precise articulation and her well-trained, stunning voice, make Souter a vocalist to reckon with and one whose development should be followed with great interest.
Track Listing: Eleanor Rigby; Riverman; Obsession; White Room; Afro Blue/Footprints; Make This City Ours Tonight; Crystal Rain (Sunshower); Empty Faces (Vera Cruz); Now and Then; Nara's Song (Little Sunflower); Love Theme from Spartacus; Usha's Wedding.
Personnel: Tessa Souter: vocals; Jason Ennis: guitar; Gary Wang: bass; Conor Meehan: drums; Victor Prieto: accordion; Todd Reynolds: violin; Ansel Matthews: backing vocals.
Record Label: Motema Music