For Philadelphia-based singer/songwriter Jessi Teich, just bringing “Twisted Soul” to life would be considered a victory. That the jazzy gem of a slab is flat-out fantastic is just icing on the cake. I 2010, Teich discovered that she had a cyst on her vocal cords and her livelihood was in jeopardy. After extensive therapy failed to resolve the problem, Teich opted to have the cyst surgically removed.
“Putting a knife to the thing you love most is a scary thing,” she explains. “For a week after the surgery you can’t talk and you don’t even know if you ever will again. I didn’t speak a word for two months. I spoke with a chalkboard. People that I was handicapped, deaf or didn’t speak English. And then, lo and behold, I had a weird, brand new voice that didn’t sound like I smoked six packs a day any more.”
Soon the 10-time international songwriting award winner and Berklee College of Music graduate was in a Paris studio laying down tracks for “Twisted Soul.” The 13-track release features 11-first rate originals — highlighted by “The Haunting,” “Carnival,” the title track, “Lucid Lover” and “Ruins” — plus sizzling covers of Tom Waits (“Clap Hands”) and Justin Timberlake (“Cry Me a River”). With her health restored, the sky’s the limit for this gifted musician. (Jeffrey Sisk)