Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll Rising Star, British-Trinidadian vocalist Tessa Souter, a protege of jazz vocal legend Mark Murphy, has gained a reputation for making "daring, beautiful jazz." (AllAboutJazz) On her 2004 debut. Listen Love (Nara), she evoked the sensuality and passion of Andalusian Spain and the Middle East with a mix of Pharoah Sanders, Sting, Pat Martino and original tunes. Her mostly standards follow up, Nights of Key Largo (Venus, 2008), won Japan's prestigious Swing Journal Gold Disc Award. Her Motema debut, Obsession (2009), featured daring takes on pop icons the Beatles and Cream, as well as compositions by Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, Milton Nascimento, Dori Caymmi and Kenny Barron. Her fourth album, Beyond the Blue (her second for Motema), is her most daring yet.
"Stunningly original" (JazzTimes), "haunting" (Boston Globe), "startlingly fresh" (Washington City Paper), Beyond the Blue features Souter's own hauntingly evocative lyrics set to jazz arrangements of exquisite classical melodies, as well as three famous classical-to-standards crossover gems ('Baubles, Bangles and Beads', 'My Reverie' and 'The Lamp is Low'). She is partnered with six of the jazz world's elite - pianist Steve Kuhn's superlative trio with bassist David Finck and drummer Billy Drummond, vibraphone master Joe Locke, saxophonist Joel Frahm, and Gary Versace on accordion. "Jazzing the classics is a niche genre that goes back to the John Kirby band and beyond, yet few sorties have been as stylish as this .... Shimmers in the dark," wrote Clive Davis in the London Sunday Times Magazine.
"Broadly imaginative" (New York Times), "direct and soulful" (Village Voice), from the Philharmonic halls of Russia (four sell-out national tours) to the intimacy of a sold out JALC Dizzy's Club Coca Cola performance, which inspired a standing ovation, Souter is a "must see" (Time Out New York, Los Angeles Times) who mesmerizes audiences with her emotional depth, striking authenticity and a rare wit that spices her individual style of jazz. "To say that Souter enchanted the audience would be an understatement. Everyone seemed to be transfixed by Souter's gorgeous voice and wonderful personality." (Rochester City Paper review of Rochester International Jazz Festival) "Don't miss!" (Time Out New York)