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Jessi Teich – Twisted Soul (A Music Review)

Jessi Teich "Twisted Soul"

Jessi Teich “Twisted Soul”

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 All rights reserved. Posted: January 24, 2015.

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