Album review: ‘Picture in Black and White’

Posted in Autobiography, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2018-10-08 03:16Z by Steven

Album review: ‘Picture in Black and White’

Rochester CITY Newspaper
Rochester, New York

Ron Netsky

Concept albums are common in rock, but rare in the jazz realm. Tessa Souter’sPicture in Black and White“—set for release on October 5—breaks that mold. Souter, a Rochester favorite after multiple jazz festival appearances, has created an exquisite musical exploration of her identity. At the age 28, she discovered that her birth father was black and her roots reached from Africa to the Caribbean, from Celtic Britain to Andalusian Spain. Musical strains from all of these places permeate the album….

Read the entire review here.

Tags: , , ,

Picture in Black and White

Posted in Arts, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2018-10-08 01:08Z by Steven

Picture in Black and White

NOA Records

Tessa Souter

  1. Kothbiro
  2. Contemplation (Ancestors)
  3. A Taste of Honey
  4. Dancing girl/Where the Streets Have No Name
  5. Ana Maria’s Song (Ana Maria)
  6. Child of Love
  7. Picture in Black and White
  8. You Don’t Have To Believe
  9. Reynardine
  10. Siren Song
  11. Lonely Woman
  12. Nothing Will Be As It Was

with Yotam Silberstein (guitar), Yasushi Nakamura (bass), Keita Ogawa (percussion), Adam Platt (piano), Dana Leong (cello), Billy Drummond (cymbals and drums)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Hip Chick Alert puts the spotlight on Tessa Souter

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, Women on 2017-07-10 02:40Z by Steven

Hip Chick Alert puts the spotlight on Tessa Souter

Hip Chick Alert


Tessa Souter was born in London to a Trinidadian father and an English mother. She studied piano from the age of 8 until, at 12, her piano teacher heard her voice and encouraged her to take up singing. She learned guitar by ear to accompany herself and began writing songs. She graduated with a degree in English literature from London University and got her first job in journalism at Parents magazine, before going on to freelance as a features writer for, among other British press The Independent, The Times, Elle, Vogue, as well as Australian Elle, Sydney Morning Herald and HQ….

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,

Tessa Souter sets her story to music

Posted in Articles, Arts, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2015-07-21 02:14Z by Steven

Tessa Souter sets her story to music

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Rochester, New York

Jeff Spevak, Staff writer


Tessa Souter is known as a New York City singer-songwriter, but her biography runs much deeper. She’s taken a few detours on her way to the jazz clubs.

A runaway at 16, a magazine journalist writing for Elle and Vogue, a student of the legendary hipster scat singer Mark Murphy, a house cleaner while waiting for the singing career to blossom.

Souter, who has released four albums, is at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, performing at 6 and 10 p.m. Tuesday at Montage Music Hall. While in Spain a week and a half ago, she took a little time to answer some questions.

On your most-recent album, Beyond the Blue, you add sultry lyrics to classical pieces such as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, Movement 2. What’s it like collaborating with a guy who’s been dead for 187 years?

It’s fantastic because you don’t feel inhibited. If you can’t come up with anything, you don’t have to show it to them. And they’re not wondering what you are going to do with it, or if you will understand what they meant. Of course that doesn’t mean Ludwig isn’t rolling over in his grave right now. But he did write some wonderful vocal music, so he clearly wasn’t anti the whole idea of lyrics…

You were born in London, your mother was English, your father was from Trinidad. How does that multicultural heritage work its way into that most-American of music genres, jazz?

When I first moved to New York, I sang at a cabaret open mic once, and the pianist said, “You’re not a cabaret singer. You are a jazz singer.” But I don’t try to be “jazz.” A friend, and one of my mentors, an amazing singer called Mansur Scott, once told me, “Just sing your story.” Mine includes the musical influences of my life — my mum singing to me, songs we sang together, my tween obsession with Sandy Denny, Fairport Convention, Pentangle and Joni Mitchell, my discovery of Miles Davis when I was 16 on Cannonball Adderly’sSomethin’ Else.” Then I found Milton Nascimento and through him Sarah Vaughan and Wayne Shorter, whose Native Dancer is still my favorite album of all time. There are so many styles of jazz. Definitely American in origin. But isn’t jazz kind of like gumbo? It is itself multicultural. One of my very favorite “jazz” singers — Youn Sun Nah, who I discovered relatively recently (and who was a favorite at last year’s jazz festival) — is Korean…

Read the entire interview here.

Tags: , , , ,