泰莎．索特：蓝调之外 Tessa Souter: Beyond The Blue (CD) 【Venus】
2011年的「蓝调之外」是索特在Venus Records的第二张专辑，也是个人的第四张。在Venus的前作「大礁岛之夜」获得Swing Journal金赏肯定，而这张专辑企图心比前作更强烈，她将古典名曲重新填词并以爵士编曲演唱！将爵士曲目加上歌词是常见的改编，但是古典音乐改编为爵士标準曲，难度甚高。索特以极高的音乐素养完成这项不可能的任务（专辑中只有三曲是古典音乐改编旧作），成功的撷取古典曲目中的动听片段，与优雅的文字创作（别忘了这是她的老本行）结合，成为新型态的爵士歌曲集。第一首「给太阳的序曲」就改编自贝多芬第七号交响曲中让人耳熟能详的慢板；「与我共舞」则改编自鲍罗定「韃靼舞曲」，听者应该对这曲子应该非常熟悉，因为前几年莎拉．布莱曼才演唱过此曲的另外一个改编版「乐园的陌生人」。伴奏以史帝夫．库恩三重奏为主轴，加上萨克斯风、铁琴与手风琴等独奏乐器，听起来丰富而纯熟。十二首曲子带来既熟悉又新鲜的感动，是相当迷人的一张另类爵士专辑。
Tessa Souter - vocals
Steve Kuhn - piano
David Finck - bass
Billy Drummond - drums
Joe Lock - vibraphon
Joel Frahm - saxophos
Gary Versace - accordion
01. Prelude To The Sun 给太阳的序曲
02. Beyond The Blue 蓝调之外
03. The Lamp Is Low 灯光低垂
04. Chiaroscuro 明暗法则
05. Dance With Me 与我共舞
06. Noa's Dream 诺亚之梦
07. En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor 爱在阿兰辉兹
08. My Reverie 我的遐想
09. Sunrise 日昇
10. Baubles Bangles And Beads 小珠手鐲与珠子
11. The Darkness Of Your Eyes 你眼中的黑暗
12. Brand New Day 崭新的一天
Venus Gives New Life To Jazz. Venus is Jazz.
Venus制作人原哲夫先生：「Venus爵士乐希望能够带给乐迷们如同坐在Jazz Club第一排中间座位听音乐那样的感动。因此，请大家在自己心爱的音响系统中聆听Venus，重现舞台的原貌。相信一定可以让您们享受到真正的Acoustic Jazz Sound！」 来自日本的Venus厂牌，成立於1992年，录制了为数眾多的经典爵士名盘，其音乐层次丰富、充满渲染力，而能让听眾如临现场的高水準录音品质也是Venus的一大特色，不少专辑都陆续推出了高音质HQCD版及黑胶版，旗下唱片更屡屡荣获日本专业爵士乐杂誌Swing Journal金赏奖。原哲夫在Venus中投入了对爵士乐的热情，迄今，Venus已成为日本爵士乐界最受瞩目的厂牌之一。
Release Date 2012
Recording DateMarch 27, 2011 & March 28, 2011
Original Release Date: 2012
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Motema Music
Tessa Souter: Beyond The Blue
By VICTOR L. SCHERMER, Published: May 31, 2012 | 8,005 views View related photos
Beyond the Blue
Vocalist Tessa Souter is deservedly becoming treasured among jazz fans and musicians alike. She combines the sonority, vocal range and discipline of a classical lieder soprano with subtle and sultry jazz inflections. Everything she sings is meaningful, well thought out and in good taste. She works with the best instrumentalists and has a consummate grasp of both swing and the modern jazz idiom. All these elements are manifest in her newest album, Beyond the Blue, where Souter takes familiar themes from classical music, adds her own lyrics to most of them, and delivers what are essentially a new set of songs that are poetic in impact. The original melodies are all there to be heard, but the mood and interpretation are totally Souter, and all in the jazz idiom, expressing nuances of romance, love and intimacy. She is helped enormously by her instrumentalists, who play masterfully, supporting and elaborating on Souter's vocalizations with finesse and flair.
The album begins gently with Souter's "Prelude to the Sun" based on the second movement of Beethoven's Symphony No.7. While Beethoven wrote a dance-like piece, Souter takes it more slowly, and the lingering dance feeling makes it somewhat like a madrigal, as she refers to "A glorious morning ... singing in my heart."
In "The Lamp is Low" Souter gives Ravel's "Pavane" a midnight dreamy feel, reminiscent of her album Nights of Key Largo (Venus Jazz, 2009). The seduction builds as she asks her lover to "dream the sweetest dream we'll ever know," with her inflections on "sweetest" being perhaps the most decadent single utterance ever sung on a recording, as if Souter became a channel for Marlene Dietrich for a few milliseconds.
"Dance with Me" uses the melody from the popular song "Stranger in Paradise" from the Broadway show Kismet. It is most notable for a flavorful tag ending by Gary Versace on accordion, his presence being a real coup that gives the disc a special boost. "Chiaroscuro" is based on the familiar Albinoni "Adagio" that appears on many new age recordings. Souter makes this tune her own, however, adding sensitive and intimate lyrics lauding newfound love: "Holding the love that's been born/ Up to the light of the dawn." There is a beautiful tenor saxophone solo by Joel Frahm, offered with a laid back Stan Getz-like sound, and an artful piano solo by Steve Kuhn, which taken together provide a feeling of theme and variations on a melody that wants to insinuate itself into the listener's consciousness.
Souter then segues to "My Reverie," a swing era pop song based on a Debussy piano piece. She takes it at an up tempo, leaving no doubt who is in charge. The song "En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor" will be familiar to many listeners from trumpeter Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain (Columbia, 1960). The bass and piano evoke a Spanish mystique via a unison drone as well as hints of flamenco music. Frahm again solos beautifully.
Brahms' Symphony No. 3 and its melody that Souter uses for "Sunrise" were composed during Brahms' idyllic mid-life trip along the Rhine River. Souter captures the feeling of the countryside and the music it stirs in the composer's heart by such lines as "Winter brings spring to me; nightingales sing to me." It is clear that she herself is the lark ascending in this album.
"Baubles, Bangles and Beads" is another standard from Kismet, and Souter here stays with the original lyrics. The simple harmonic structure of this tune offers opportunities for a vibraphone solo by Joe Locke, followed by a double time piano solo by Steve Kuhn, and a quality bass solo by David Finck. The 3/4 waltz time is highlighted in the last chorus with artful work by Billy Drummond, one of today's finest drummers in the Elvin Jones tradition.
"Beyond the Blue" offers tender lyrics with a touch of sadness a la Chopin, such as the phrase, "out of a dark and cold starless sky, beyond the blue." There are echoes here of the quiet, minimalist feeling of Antonio Carlos Jobim's ballads. The song rocks softly like a mother holding a child. "The Darkness of Your Eyes" surprises with an upbeat, swing tempo, much faster than the root melody of Faure's "Pavane." Indeed, it is the liveliest swinging track of the set. "Noa's Dream" maintains the upbeat stance. Souter refers metaphorically to her lover as a soaring bird: with an allusion to a jazz standard, "beautiful dreamer, you are a skylark." Frahm's saxophone solo and Locke's vibraphone both capture the freedom of the flying, singing bird.
Faure's "Elegy" is a mournful lament, but Souter turns it into a "Brand New Day," which begins with Versace's accordion suggesting a gypsy atmosphere and which soon takes on the rhythm of a Hungarian dance. The piece transmutes into a bebop interlude and returns to the dance rhythm. Like all the best jazz vocalists, Souter gives her sidemen the respect and space they deserve, and the ensemble playing on this set merits high praise on its own.
Tracks: Prelude to the Sun (Beethoven: Symphony No.7, 2nd Movement); The Lamp is Low (Ravel: Pavane); Dance with Me (Borodin: Polovetsian Dances); Chiaroscuro (Tomaso Albinoni: Adagio in G minor); My Reverie (Debussy: Reverie); En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor (Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez); Sunrise (Brahms: Symphony No.3, 3rd Movement); Baubles, Bangles and Beads (Borodin: String Quartet in D, No.2, 2nd Movement); Beyond the Blue (Chopin: Prelude in E minor, Opus 28, No.4); The Darkness of Your Eyes (Faure: Pavane); Noa's Dream (Schubert: Serenade); Brand New Day (Faure: Elegy).
Personnel: Tessa Souter: vocal; Steve Kuhn: piano; David Finck: bass; Billy Drummond: drums; Joe Locke: vibraphone; Joel Frahm: tenor sax; Gary Versace: accordion.
Track Listing: Track #1; Track #2; Track #3.
Personnel: Musician Name #1: instrument; Musician Name #2: instrument; Musician Name #3: instrument.
Record Label: Motema Music
On her fourth CD, Beyond the Blue, her second for New York-based Motéma Music, vocalist Tessa Souter dips into the classical repertoire with 12 exquisite arrangements of music by Chopin, Brahms, Schubert and more. While three of the songs are well-known standards – ‘The Lamp is Low’ (Ravel), ‘My Reverie’ (Debussy), ‘Baubles, Bangles and Beads’ (Borodin), Souter pens wonderful new lyrics for the remaining nine songs and the results are unquestionably fine. Souter’s lustrous timbre works its magic from the scene-setting opener ‘Prelude to the Sun’, based on the second movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No.7. Other stellar treats include ‘Dance With Me’ (from Borodin’s ‘Polovtsian Dances’), a remarkable take on Albinoni’s ‘Adagio’ (‘Chiaroscuro’), plus a beautiful reimagining of Rodrigo’s ‘En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor’, which every Miles fan knows well. Best of all is ‘The Darkness Of Your Eyes’ (based on Fauré’s ‘Pavane’), topped off by an outstanding solo from Joel Frahm on soprano. The rest of the supporting cast includes the Steve Kuhn trio and vibist Joe Locke, whose fluid soloing and deft textural touches add immeasurably to the album’s understated lyrical power.
– Peter Quinn
Artist/Band: Tessa Souter
Name: Beyond The Blue
Cat No.: VHCD-1055
Performed by: Tessa Souter (vocal)
Steve Kuhn (piano)
David Finck (bass)
Billy Drummond (drums)
Joe Locke (vibraphone)
Joel Frahm (tenor sax)
Gary Versace (accordion)
Release Date: 07/20/2011
Description: Singer Tessa Souter stunned us a few years ago with her brilliant debut album from Venus Records, Night Of Key Largo which became a Swing Journal Gold Disc. Her latest release is an ambitious album based on the same concept as Simone Kopmajer's New Romance: Writing lyrics to well-known classical melodies and performing them in a jazz setting. A former journalist and talented writer, Tessa herself wrote the lyrics of all but three songs. Supported by top jazz musicians in New York, Tessa sings intelligently and elegantly, taking full advantage of her gorgeous voice. Recommended!
Produced by Tetsuo Hara. Recorded at The Avatar Studio in New York on March 27 and 28, 2011. Engineered by Katherine Miller. Mixed and mastered by Tetsuo Hara.
01. Prelude to the Sun [Beethoven: Symphony No.7, 2nd Movement]
02. Beyond the Blue [Chopin: Prelude in E minor, Opus 28, No.4]
03. The Lamp is Low [Ravel: Pavane]
04. Chiaroscuro [Tomaso Albinoni: Adagio in G minor]
05. Dance with Me [Borodin: Polovetsian Dances]
06. Noa's Dream [Schubert: Serenade]
07. En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor [Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez]
08. My Reverie [Debussy: Reverie]
09. Sunrise [Brahms: Symphony No.3, 3rd Movement]
10. Baubles, Bangles and Beads [Borodin: String Quartet in D, No.2, 2nd Movement]
11. The Darkness of Your Eyes [Faure: Pavane]
12. Brand New Day [Faure: Elegy]