200

Tessa Souter: Obsession

Joel Roberts By

Sign in to view read count
Tessa Souter: Obsession New York-based, British-born Tessa Souter is a jazz singer with interests far outside the jazz world. On Obsession, Souter mostly shuns well-trodden standards and classic jazz fare in favor of a varied set of rock, pop and Brazilian tunes.

With her rich contralto and crystal-clear diction, Souter delivers lyrics with a theatrical, but never overdramatic, flair. Nothing sounds forced or hurried in her delivery; she's a relaxed, confident singer who succeeds at creating a romantic, vaguely tropical mood with apparent ease. And she knows how to get inside a song, even a familiar one, and make it her own. She treats The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" plaintively without turning too morose and offers a sophisticated, reflective reading of the late British folk-rocker Nick Drake's "Riverman."

Many of the tunes have a Brazilian flavor, including a highly original reimagining of Cream's '60s hard-rock anthem "White Room," with an arrangement by guitarist Jason Ennis. The Brazilian theme continues on delightful versions of two songs by Milton Nascimento, "Make This City Ours Tonight" and "Vera Cruz (Empty Faces)." Other highlights include a simple, yet soulful take on Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue"; a moving rendition of Alex Nort's "Love Theme from Spartacus," with Souter backed only by guitar and bass and the singer's own "Usha's Wedding," an enchanting Middle-Eastern-inspired tune.

Backed by a small, spare ensemble led by Ennis' acoustic guitar, Victor Prieto's accordion and Todd Reynolds' violin, Souter has made a deeply satisfying album of jazz and jazz-inflected music that should appeal to a wide audience.


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 Them 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.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Motema Music | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "The Darkening Blue" CD/LP/Track Review The Darkening Blue
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 5, 2016
Read "Godspeed" CD/LP/Track Review Godspeed
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "An Eclipse Of Images" CD/LP/Track Review An Eclipse Of Images
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 1, 2016
Read "Happy" CD/LP/Track Review Happy
by Budd Kopman
Published: April 29, 2016
Read "Work Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Work Songs
by Mark F. Turner
Published: March 1, 2016
Read "Olhos De Mar" CD/LP/Track Review Olhos De Mar
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!