Tessa Souter | Nights of Key Largo

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Jazz: Cool Jazz Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Nights of Key Largo

by Tessa Souter

Seductive, sensual jazz.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Island
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6:01 album only
2. Close Enough for Love
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7:18 album only
3. Moondance
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4:20 album only
4. So Many Stars
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4:26 album only
5. The Look of Love
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4:06 album only
6. You Only Live Twice
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4:52 album only
7. Key Largo
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4:02 album only
8. Slow Hot Wind
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4:41 album only
9. Moon and Sand
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4:30 album only
10. I\'m Glad There Is You
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5:21 album only
11. All or Nothing
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4:55 album only
12. Morning of the Carnival
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4:47 album only
13. Imagine
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4:41 album only


Album Notes



"There are traces of Billie Holiday and Carmen McRae in her phrasing, Julie London and Peggie Lee in her delicate breathing which harbors a touch of sorrow. One is reminded of these great voices from the past when hearing Tessa, whose greatest strength lies in her pure voice and her instrument-like way of singing."- Koji Kubota, Swing Journal

"As you can hear on this stunning major debut album, Souter is clearly a major singing talent ... clear, beautiful voice ... natural unforced delivery... solid technique ... intelligent phrasing." blog.eastwindimport.com

"... beautiful and talented... a noteworthy new jazz singer..." - Koji Kubota, Swing Journal

Tessa Souter's 'Nights of Key Largo', on the prestigious Japanese audiophile label Venus, has already garnered the January 2009 Swing Journal Gold Disc.

Backed by an all-star band (Kenny Werner, piano, Jay Leonhart, bass, Joel Frahm, saxophones, Romero Lubambo, guitar, and Billy Drummond, drums), Souter shows off her impeccable jazz chops on 13 songs, including a swinging waltz version of John Lennon's 'Imagine' and achingly longing non-bossa arrangements of Brazilian classics, 'Manha de Carnaval' and 'The Look of Love'.

Review by Ken Dryden

Since arriving in New York City, Tessa Souter has built a dedicated following. She was a relative latecomer to jazz, taking time out to raise a family at a young age and work as a journalist before studying at the Manhattan School of music and privately with vocal great Mark Murphy, though she has developed into a formidable singer in a relatively short time. Souter's gorgeous, natural vocals never show pretension or gimmickry, while her taste in songs is amazingly wide-ranging and occasionally risk-taking. For these 2008 sessions, her accompanists include the brilliant pianist Kenny Werner (who works especially well with vocalists), saxophonist Joel Frahm, Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo, veteran first-call bassist Jay Leonhart, and the in-demand drummer Billy Drummond. Souter's lush treatment of "Close Enough for Love" captures the essence of this beautiful standard (a favorite of the late Shirley Horn and many others). The haunting setting of "Morning of the Carnaval" opens with Werner's elegant piano and Leonhart's mournful arco bass, while Souter's spacious, lovely performance is also complemented by Frahm's moving soprano sax. The vocalist uncovered a gem in Benny Carter's neglected "Key Largo," which she casts in a setting that suggests a midnight stroll along the beach with her lover. But Souter is at her most stunning when she tackles songs that one doesn't normally hear in a jazz setting. Her infectious, slinky take of Van Morrison's "Moondance" opens with her sexy vocals over Leonhart's walking bass, with judicious use of reverb that is never overdone. John Lennon's "Imagine" has long been a pop standard, though jazz arrangements have been few and mostly disappointing, but Souter is buoyed by her imaginative rhythm section, though she takes few liberties with it until she is well into the song. Tessa Souter will win you over, as well, if you give her the opportunity.


to write a review

cathy netherwood

nights of key largo
Tessa pulls off a brilliant coup - she tackles the great jazz standards while maintaining her own individual take: soft, earthy, tender - she reinterprets the spirit of each song, transforming it into something uniquely her own. Unforgettable.

jim denson

A Luxurious Listen
Tessa Souter, with her first CD Listen Love, brought us her uniqueness of sound via her stunning choices of songs and instrumentation. With her new CD, Nights of Key Largo, she does something even more difficult: place her own stamp on standards of different musical genres, when the vast majority of those songs are in a deliberate to slow tempo. I completely agree with the previous reviewer re: Tessa's voice, it is unfailingly clear, strong and beautiful. In these excellent renditions, her voice also reminds me of Tierney Sutton, and Kendra Shank, as well as of course, Shirley Horn.
The best thing about her though is that she's a great person, who seems totally grounded and unfazed by all the well-deseraved plaudits she is receiving.

junius gonzales

Nights of Key Largo
Dazzling unexpected arrangements. Great band for a truly extraordinary talent. While this is a terrific recording by Souter, you only get a taste of how she sounds live.....This is a welcome collection of standards, and to-be standards, by a vocalist who has impeccable timing, articulation and control, a gorgeous voice that leaves a lovely and indelible mark. Kudos to Tessa, the incredible musicians, and Venus for producing a long awaited recording by my favorite jazz vocalist. Am waiting for a recording of Tessa's rendition of 'Here's To Life' -- she performed it live in Shirley Horn's hometown and gave it a special signature....