Jessi Teich – Twisted Soul (Madame Freak)
You know an artist has some diverse tastes when she covers both Tom Waits and Justin Timberlake on her album.
This young Philadelphia-based jazz singer certainly lives up to this wide range in her latest CD, recorded live in studio in Paris. Teich refers to Twisted Soul as “a crossover record with a jazz spinal cord,” and that explains the eccentric charms of the album as well as anything, I suppose.
A sweet and gritty mix of the blues, urbane jazz and down and dirty soul, the album has a loose structure of romantic emancipation from the wrong lover. The album opens with the drop-dead gorgeous “The Haunting,” a complicated and evocative ballad full of breathy vocals and strutting instrumental backing.
The title track, on the other hand, has the old-school soul stomp straight out of the stacks of Stax. At the same time, the piano-based torch ballad “Someday” liberates love from the hands of evil. “Ruins” is a similarly lovely and urbane declaration of independence.
Her torchy stuttering version of Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River” could become a hit in a more adventurous musical world. The Waits cover – of “Clap Hands” – on the other hand has a cluttered and hyperactive background perfect to the source material.
The nice thing is, though, that Teich’s originals hold up perfectly against their more well-known album mates. Twisted Soul is an album that deserves some widespread attention.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2015 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: January 24, 2015.