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ALBUM REVIEWS

Tessa Souter: Picture in Black and White

Read "Picture in Black and White" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

New York-based vocalist Tessa Souter is becoming treasured among jazz fans and musicians alike. Equally effective in clubs, in concert and on her several fine recordings, she combines the sonority, vocal range and discipline of a classical contralto with subtle and sultry jazz inflections. Everything she sings is well thought out and in good taste. She works with the best instrumentalists and has a consummate grasp of both swing and the modern jazz idiom, as well as folk and world ...

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Tessa Souter at Pizza Express in London's Soho

Read "Tessa Souter at Pizza Express in London's Soho" reviewed by Martin McFie

Tessa Souter Pizza Express Soho London June 23, 2018 In a once seedy part of London, also home to the UK film industry, lies the heart of the capital's jazz scene. Iconic Ronnie Scott's is off Soho Square in Frith Street while on a corner of nearby Dean Street in a cellar beneath a Pizza Express is their live jazz club. For over 40 years it has presented the best of jazz ...

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Tessa Souter Quartet: Half Moon Bay, California, December 2, 2012

Read "Tessa Souter Quartet: Half Moon Bay, California, December 2, 2012" reviewed by Bill Leikam

Tessa Souter QuartetBach Dynamite & Dancing SocietyDouglas Beach HouseHalf Moon Bay, CADecember 2, 2012 Traveling to the west coast from New York, Tessa Souter brought with her the wonderful tenor saxophonist and flautist Don Braden and they teamed up with friends Christian Tamburr on vibraphone, John Shiflett on bass, Akira Tana on drums. Having had a huge storm come through that morning, many wondered whether the turnout for Souter's performance would be light. ...

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Tessa Souter: Beyond The Blue

Read "Beyond The Blue" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Vocalist Tessa Souter is deservedly becoming treasured among jazz fans and musicians alike. She combines the sonority, vocal range and discipline of a classical lieder soprano with subtle and sultry jazz inflections. Everything she sings is meaningful, well thought out and in good taste. She works with the best instrumentalists and has a consummate grasp of both swing and the modern jazz idiom. All these elements are manifest in her newest album, Beyond the Blue, where Souter takes familiar themes ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tessa Souter: Beyond The Blue

Read "Beyond The Blue" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The mere mention of jazz-classical hybridization may draw scowls from jazz fans who've encountered more than their fare share of ill-conceived projects that trade in on this idea, but vocalist Tessa Souter avoids all the usual pitfalls. Beyond The Blue isn't about joining these worlds at the hip; it's about using the frameworks and melodies of classical works as the foundation and scaffolding for new ideas. Souter saunters her way through a dozen alluring pieces built around ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Tessa Souter: Half Moon Bay, February 13, 2011

Read "Tessa Souter: Half Moon Bay, February 13, 2011" reviewed by Bill Leikam

Tessa SouterDouglas Beach HouseHalf Moon Bay, CaliforniaFebruary 13, 2011 There are times, at the Douglas Beach House (aka the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society), when a singer comes in and subtly moves the audience to a deeper attention than might otherwise be the case. So it was, when jazz vocalist, composer, and lyricist Tessa Souter took the stage on Sunday, February 13, 2011. Aside from Souter, the quintet consisted drummer Akira Tana, bassist Dan ...

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Tessa Souter: Obsession

Read "Obsession" reviewed by Joel Roberts

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 ...

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Tessa Souter: Obsession

Read "Obsession" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Tessa Souter is a consummate and dedicated vocalist who is deservedly on the rise in the New York jazz scene and elsewhere. A contralto who sings with both precision and emotion, her impressionist and minimalist interpretations bring out the meanings of her songs while remaining true to their melodic lines. Following Listen Love (Nara Music, 2004) and Nights of Key Largo (Venus Records, 2008), Obsession continues her in-depth preoccupation with the nature and experience of love, but with a slight ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Two by Tessa Souter: Listen Love and Nights Of Key Largo

Read "Two by Tessa Souter: Listen Love and Nights Of Key Largo" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

There are two types of fine jazz singers. On the one hand, there are those who take a tune, swing it and play with it in various ways, whether with scat, shifts in accent and harmony, or even with deconstructions that re-interpret the song entirely. The man who started all that was, of course, Louis Armstrong. Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan and Kurt Elling, in different and more sophisticated ways, also fall into this category. On the other hand, there are ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tessa Souter: Nights of Key Largo

Read "Nights of Key Largo" reviewed by Suzanne Lorge

Tessa Souter excels at creating mood and on her new CD, Nights of Key Largo, that mood is one of a relaxed intimacy: She never strains to emote, never pushes a note, never rushes a phrase. Her material--13 songs about moonlight, sand and romance--lends itself to this kind of laid-back treatment, reminding the listener that there is more to life than hurrying to be somewhere, with the stressful soundtrack that accompanies such a feverish lifestyle playing in one's head.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tessa Souter: Listen Love

Read "Listen Love" reviewed by Donald Elfman

How nice to hear a sophisticated singer who so completely respects the melody, the lyrics, and the moment. Tessa Souter contributes much to the evolution of the songs she chooses to perform--she finds ways through phrase, paraphrase, and instrumental accompaniment to add rich new color. Like Norma Winstone--whose lyrics for Jimmy Rowles' “The Peacocks she uses here--Souter understands what is needed to deliver a song. Her voice, her sense of drama, her use of space and shape--all these work towards ...


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