Commonly considered an old blues, jazz, and soul singer-songwriter trapped in a young woman’s body, 10-time international songwriting award-winner JESSI TEICH (pronounced TEACH) brings a pop sensibility to her stylish new album, TWISTED SOUL, recorded in Paris on Madame Freak Records.
TWISTED SOUL is the latest chapter of a success story based on hard work and a strong connection with a growing army of fans in the U.S. and Europe for the artist who was raised in Clinton, NJ, and has been based in Philadelphia since graduating Magna Cum Laude from the Berklee College of Music. She celebrates by kicking off a spring U.S. tour with a CD Release Event at the Sellersville Theater, in Sellersville, PA, on April 18. She also will be featured on Radio Free Nashville in a two-hour live radio interview broadcast, hosted by Ty Brando, on May 4.
Jessi calls TWISTED SOUL “a crossover record with a jazz spinal cord,” with a sequenced “poperatic” story arc of cathartic metamorphosis – overcoming tragedy through change and growth. The album showcases Jessi’s sinuous vocal prowess as well as her heralded songwriting capacity, and contains three songs, which already have won awards, including the kickoff track, “The Haunting,” winner of three competitions on its own.
She writes impressionistically about heartbreak, love, loss, gain, and sisterhood on TWISTED SOUL, tracing her surrender to – and eventual escape from – a controlling, abusive lover. All the while, she masterfully mixes jazz sophistication, blues grit, and soul’s tragic romance, with an edgy-but-elegant aesthetic. It’s that type of classy combination that’s drawn her comparisons to everyone from Billie Holiday to Sade to Fiona Apple, and admiration for Jessi’s rare sense of soul-baring vocal honesty with no pretenses or unnecessary acrobatics.
TWISTED SOUL also is Jessi’s first full-length album since recovering from surgery to remove a career-threatening cyst surrounding her vocal fold while she was teaching 40 private voice students a week. Her recovery, chronicled by CNN, included not only regaining the octave-and-a-half she had lost from her upper range, but returning with an altogether stronger, and more supple singing voice than ever before.
“I feel a power now in my voice that I had never felt before,” says Jessi. “It’s as if I was given a second chance. It’s a scary, career-threatening thing but it’s made me want to advocate and tell people about it.”
Since her complete recovery, Jessi has performed with the late Sid Simmons, Mike Boone, Byron Landham, Beyoncé saxophonist Tia Fuller, Funkadelic’s Bernie Worrell, Charlie Hunter, Ronnie Earl, G. Love, and Jen Durkin, among others, and has been featured at the Roots’ annual Roots Picnic, WaWa Welcome America!, Bethlehem Musikfest, the Canadian Music Festival and prestigious venues throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, including Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater.
Jessi recorded TWISTED SOUL in Paris, where she initially had landed for writing inspiration, live at Studio de Meudon with renowned engineer Julien Bassères. She was backed by the Thierry Maillard Trio, led by one of France’s top pianists, and to give the album just the right eclectic sound, acclaimed French accordionist Laurent Derache. Jessi produced and arranged TWISTED SOUL herself and, finishing off its cultural blend with more American influence, enlisted further help from engineer Ron DiSilvestro, guitarist Dai “Soul Samurai” Myazaki, and drummer John Morgan Kimock.
As a result of the liberation process chronicled on TWISTED SOUL, Jessi now supports women who’ve been affected by emotional abuse through Women Against Abuse (www.womenagainstabuse.org), Philadelphia's leading domestic violence advocate. She also supports PAWS of Philadelphia (www.phillypaws.org) and is guardian to two rescue dogs named Chico and Cooper.
Visit Jessi Teich’s Website or Social Media pages for sound samples or more information about this release and future tour dates.