TESSA SOUTER: A serious talent; no doubt about it

First published in 2017

Jazz editor Tony Andrews writes:

The London Jazz Festival is nearly upon us once again and the vast range of concerts available is quite mind-blowing. With a Jazz Festival of this size and importance there will obviously be overlapping concerts which is going to cause many a headache. I gave up many years ago trying to make sense of it all and therefore select a few stand-out concerts which in my humble opinion merit my attention. Circumstances and, I like to think good taste oblige me to ignore the rest.

If like me you love free concerts then head off down to Cadogan Hall in Sloane Square, Chelsea for “Round About Two Thirty” which, as it implies, starts at 2.30pm from the 13th to 17th. Seating is very limited so, be there early to see some of the best Jazz around in my favourite venue in the UK.

If you visit to the Cadogan Hall website you can check the full line up. One of my favourite ensembles Moscow Drug Club are there on the 14th and provide a style of music which is very special. I will be there everyday so come and say hello. Food & drink is available so you can make this your special lunch date with friends.

The most exciting concert at LJF - as far as I am concerned - during the whole festival and a must-see is Tessa Souter at The Pizza Express, Dean Street ,Soho on the 18th November. She is such a rarity to see in over here even though she is British.

Tessa moved to The US where she has a huge reputation among aficionados and her jazz world peers.

I believe the material to be performed will be from a forthcoming CD but I hope Tessa will also include a few songs from her four amazing currently available CDs. I love them all but I have a particular fascination for Beyond The Blue which features some of the most tuneful pieces of classical music every written but with words by Tessa on every track, apart from three.

If you want proof of how amazing she is then investigate Chopin's Prelude in E minor and Dance with Me by Borodin - both on You Tube. Some of the best melodies every written are from the classical genre and to hear these with such skillfully crafted words added is, unhesitatingly, a joy to be hold.

Tessa is just as inspiring singing The Beatles and Eleanor Rigby is also there on youtube. In my opinion this is the most inspiring version ever and sung and with such finesse too . This track is featured on Tessa's CD Obsession along with three of my favourite songs “Make This City Our Tonight “and “Afro Blue/Footprints”. To say I am excited at going to this concert would be a understatement.

There are some wonderful female jazz singers around but Tessa has something very special about her voice. The way she interprets songs is a rare gift indeed.

There are two performance at 7.30 and 10.00 pm. Booking IS essential.

If you can't make it to Pizza Express then at least buy Tessa's CDs and enjoy her in the comfort of your armchair and a decent if not exceptional hi-fi system. I hope to see you there.