Picture in Black and White (Noa)

Tessa Souter

Record Details


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

“Exploring her mixed heritage, the expat with a penchant for Wayne Shorter raises songs to the level of poetry.”
Sunday Times Magazine, Top Ten Jazz Record of the Year

 “A remarkable journey to the interior of the human heart.”
AllAboutJazz (Victor Schermer)

 “A jazz pioneer exploring the nether corners of the genre, often smashing preconceptions and expectations on recordings . . .  one of the most inventive musicians singing. Bravo!” AllAboutJazz (Michael C Bailey)

“A meditation on race and identity, the project mines the borderless zone where blood flows into socially constructed categories.” San Francisco Chronicle

At once unassumingly virtuosic and uncontrivedly emotional, New York Times critics pick and two-time Sunday Times magazine Top Ten Jazz CD of the Year choice (2013 and 2018), Anglo-Trinidadian vocalist Tessa Souter is “a beguiling artist who infuses everything she interprets with voluptuous intelligence and keen emotional insight.” (KQED ARTS).

Ever since the release of her 2004 debut, Listen Love, she has cast an increasingly wide net, from 2008’s all-star Nights of Key Largo (Venus), to contributing original lyrics to instrumental jazz standards, and re-imagining classic British rock on 2009’s Obsession (Motéma). Her Third-Stream CD, Beyond the Blue (Venus-Motéma, 2013)featuring Steve Kuhn and spotlighting Souter’s own “exhilaratingly mature lyrics” (Chicago Examiner) to classical gems, was a London Sunday Times Top Ten Jazz Record of the Year. The second of her albums to receive that distinction, 2018’s Picture in Black and White was also the Number One Jazz Vocal CD of the Year for Ken Dryden (New York Jazz Record), W. Royal Stokes (NPR Downbeat Critics Poll) and WVCR FM’s Jay Hunter.

She has performed all over the world, from New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center to the Blue Note (New York, Shanghai and Beijing), wowing audiences with her striking authenticity, charismatic stage presence and crackling humor. “Souter, with gorgeous, often breath-taking vocalizing and deeply moving song writing, ranks in the uppermost echelon of contemporary artists.” PopCultureClassics.

 “Rarely do vocal CDs leave such a strong impact after a single hearing. This is an easy choice for the top vocal jazz CD of 2018.” New York Jazz Record

 “Souter’s expressive warmth, impassioned eloquence and unfailingly beautiful timbre are an ever-present backdrop to this singularly powerful collection. [It is] impossible not to be transfixed by the inventiveness and potency of Souter’s artistry.”  Jazzwise

“Always a singer with a dramatist’s flair for embodying a lyric and an attraction to adventurous settings, Souter’s autobiographical new album [traces] her roots through Africa, Andalusia and Celtic Britain . . .  with an eclectic collection that ranges from Kenyan song to Ornette Coleman to a U2 hit, transforming each with an intelligent ear for sincere globalism.” Philly Jazz Guide, WXPN 88.5FM

 “A brilliant and beautiful new album, which glows with a universal resonance.” PopCultureClassics

“It’s the sound of an artist doing things her own way.” LA Weekly

 “A masterpiece.” Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

“An exquisite musical exploration of her identity. . . . Gorgeous tone and impeccable phrasing.” Rochester City News

“I was utterly carried away by the Wayne Shorter song “Ana Maria” with her own lyrics.” Jazz Life Magazine

“A beautiful, spiritual album. . . Picture in Black and White feels like the kind of journey saxophonist Wayne Shorter has taken us on with albums such as JuJu and The Soothsayer.” Jazzwax

 “A mesmerising voice . . .  impeccable timing and a unique way of articulating her way through every song … I can confirm categorically it is my favourite CD of the year by a mile.” HiFiAnswers