Susan House
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Susan House


Band Jazz Adult Contemporary


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Dear Susan:

Here's a copy of what PULP Magazine will print soon. 5 Oranges is the highest rating with 1 being the lowest! Whoa!

Misbehavin’ Heart
[5 Oranges]
Gifts of the Season
[4 Oranges]

House specialties principally concocted for Filipino jazz enthusiasts

It is rare to find an album that soothes the soul and makes you want to believe in enchantment and prevalence of first-class taste. Though the latter is pretty much impossible, not in this reality at least; the former, on the other hand is quite within reach. The album alluded to is Susan House’s marvelous “Misbehavin’ Heart”, a collection of jazz standards. And when we say “jazz”, we don’t mean Kenny G.
Once you pop the CD into your player, the music will transport you to another place [no, the CD does isn’t laced with LSD] where you can imagine Susan the chanteuse as she appears on the back of the cover, wearing a dainty hat and an exquisite long sleeved blouse adorned with fluffy lapels, singing in a dimly lit, smoky lounge with Dick Tracy in the crowd.
Not an exaggeration or even a smidgen of unmitigated hyperbole, Susan House’s renditions of classics like the sultry “Summertime”, the elegant “Blue Moon”, and Duke Ellington’s “Satin Doll” will surely take you places. It might not be the same place depicted above but, well, you get the idea.
Moreover, as if the fates weren’t feeling philanthropic enough, we also have in our hands House’s Christmas extravaganza “Gifts of the Season.” Deliriously sentimental holiday classics litter the CD. What would a Christmas album be like without “Let It Snow, Let it Snow, Let It Snow!”, “White Christmas”, “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire”, “Do You Hear What I Hear?”, and the slit-your-throat “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” all done in a style that House employs. This ‘technique’, for the benefit of those who have not heard any of her stuff, is a bit more conventional than what Norah Jones is well-known for however it is not less inspiring.
It is also important to mention that “Gifts of the Season” is not all covers. House co-wrote 3 original Christmas songs with David Gerstenberger on the album. The tracks fit in nice and snug with the oldies, I’m glad to say.
The kicker though is the magnificent “Silent Night.” The version, recorded with former VIVA Records artist Norm Santarin, is Susan House’s unanticipated and heartwarming gift to Filipinos. The song has the potential to rival Gary Valenciano’s “Pasko Na Sinta Ko” in the maudlin category, the only difference is that House and Santarin’s ‘Silent Night, while inherently melancholic, gives you a lift as well.
“Misbehavin’ Heart” and the apt “Gifts of the Season” are breaths of fresh air what with the abnormal popularity of bossa nova in the country [which smacks of corporate manipulation, by the way]. This is what jazz should be and Susan House, along with her bevy of outstanding musicians, is showing us how it should be done.


Ramon Castro
CEO Mondo Distribution

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- Ramon Castro

Susan House
Gifts of the Season
by Karla Ash

Susan House is one of the few jazz musicians from the Pacific Northwest who are actually making an impact
nationally. Her new album, Gifts of the Season, is tied with a distribution deal in the Philippines, wherein she
already has a couple of FM radio hits from it already. One of them is probably “Silent Night,” a duet with
Filipino singer Norm Santarin. In a remarkably inventive move, “Silent Night” combines verses sung in
both English and Tagalog, which is the native language of the Philippines. The rest of the album is
straightforward piano jazz but House’s sultry voice makes these aging nuggets crackle with new-found
energy and charm. I especially love her sweeping version of “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!”,
which is the perfect soundtrack for these parts at the moment.
- Karla Ash

Susan House - Gifts of the Season

Written by Michael Sutton

Imagine Norah Jones releasing a Christmas album only better.



Seattle jazz artist Susan House has been creating a substantial buzz in the Philippines, where she landed a distribution deal. So it’s not surprising to hear her duet with an actual Filipino singer, Norm Santarin, on Gifts of the Season. What is startling is how their voices and languages melt into each other, giving “Silent Night” a fresh new look, updating it for a globally-minded 21st century perspective. While House sings in English, Santarin croons in Tagalog, and it’s drop-dead gorgeous. Those who have heard “Silent Night” a million times already will get an immediate crush on this rendition. House has been compared to Norah Jones in the Philippines, and one can see the similarities. Both have soulful, sensual voices and are often backed by piano; however, it’s doubtful that Jones could’ve pulled off “Silent Night” with such spellbinding creativity.

House has released Christmas singles before, but Gifts of the Season is her first full feast of Xmas cheer. Although House remains faithful to the material, she is never complacent, always taking the songs to another level of artistic goodness. She opens “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” with a glowing a cappella and transforms “Do You Hear What I Hear?” into the most relaxing smooth jazz you’ll run across this year.

Although hundreds—maybe even thousands—of artists have covered these tunes before, House makes them feel alive. She can be playful (“Santa Baby”) or reflective (“White Christmas”), giving every track its own personality. Despite the jazz backdrop of piano, bass, and drums, none of it is repetitive; House’s players follow her lead, making each song breathes a different air. Together they have produced a seasonal masterpiece that’ll be pulled from the shelves every year.

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- Michael Sutton

“We had a great gig at the Tavern that night… your singing was the very essence of phrasing and style…”
Jullian Pressley Big Band Leader
Tavern on the Green, New York
“Susan melted more than one heart with her sultry vocals on this Valentine’s Day weekend show…”
Arther Pompacello Manager
The Iridium Jazz Club, New York
“The first time Susan sang with us, we offered her a showcase of her own. We’ve seen a lot of vocalists come through here in the last 25 years, and Susan’s appeal is genuinely exciting and delightfully complex…like fine champagne!”
The Marty and Elaine Duo
The Dresden Room, Hollywood, CA
“With her unique and delicately sexy voice, her fans and strangers alike kept asking for encores!”
Justin Randi Manager
The Baked Potato, North Hollywood, CA
“This fresh new talent out of the pacific northwest is more than just a pretty face. She has a great style and vocal sound that fits the format like a glove. Check out her new single “Angel Eyes” (Sisu Heart Records) you’ll be glad you did!”
New Music Weekly Los Angeles, CA
“Susan filled the house with her smooth, sultry vocals and drew her audience in by her playful yet poignant style”
Eric Giraud Booking Manager
Grazie Ristorante Seattle, WA
“Every Tuesday night Susan serenaded us with her fabulous standards and engaging personality…she brought pizzazz to the place!”
Jim Taranto Owner
Nana Carmela’s Seattle,WA
“Your vocals are quite appealing and soulful”
A & R TAXI - Individual Publishers

Seattle-based jazz vocalist Susan House has teased us with Christmas songs before, namely the two holiday singles that she released last year. On Gifts of the Season, House charms listeners with an album's worth of Xmas cheer delivered with her characteristic soulful crooning and poignant touches. This is no yuletide cheese; House's performances are delivered with class and honest emotion.

Spirited piano playing lifts “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Now!” to the heavens as House's sweetly dreamy vocal work gives the song an almost ethereal vibe. However, “White Christmas” is even better as the prettiness of House's voice captures the heartfelt longing in the lyrics. “White Christmas” has been covered so many times that whatever emotional pull it once had has been zapped by repetition and lackluster renditions. However, House injects new life into it, invigorating it with her powerful performance.

Opening “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” with an a cappella reading is another example of the personal touch that House puts on these familiar compositions. But “Silent Night,” with House exchanging verses with Filipino singer Norm Santarin, is the highlight of this recording, epitomizing House's artistic courage and glowing self-confidence. Instead of a run-of-the-mill “Silent Night” cover, House sings in English while Santarin chooses his native Tagalog. It's a breathtaking, refreshingly different take. Almost as impressive is “Do You Hear What I Hear?” with its robust percussion, shimmery piano, and angelic vocals.

Despite its seasonal focus, Gifts of the Season just might be an album that could be listened to any time of the year, whenever you feel the need to kick off the shoes and let good vibrations sink in.

Visit Susan House on the web.

Track listing: Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!; White Christmas; Christmas Time; Santa Baby; Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree; Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire; Santa's Perfect Gift; Baby It's Cold Outside; The Light of Christmas; Nature Boy; Silent Night; Do You Hear What I Hear?; Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Personnel: Susan House: vocals; Randy Halberstaat: piano; Jeff Johnson: bass; Mark
- Gifts of the Season


Misbehavin' Heart- A CD of jazz standards released in 2003. This CD had national distribution with A'n'D out of Houston, Texas.
The Light of Christmas and Santa's Perfect Gift. Both original singles produced 2004 and 2005. Both were promoted by Larry Weir (LA) and Len Triola (NY) and had national airplay. Gifts of the Season, the most recent Christmas CD, consists of traditional Christmas carols and three original Christmas songs. This CD is currently being distributed by Mondo Distribution CO>in the Philippines in Music One stores.


Feeling a bit camera shy


A passion for singing, an open heart, and a sense of adventure are some of the characteristics that define Susan House’s life so far. Her love for music and performing is a thread that’s been inextricably woven into her heart and soul since her childhood in Cottage Grove, Oregon, where both of Susan’s parents played the piano and encouraged music as recreation. Harmonizing with her mother and sisters, Betsy and Paige, was a frequent activity, and Susan taught herself to play the guitar at the age of fourteen. Although there were periods of her life when performing was more of an avocation than a full time pursuit (Susan House became a psychiatric nurse when she got married), for Susan, the significance of performing continued to deepen with time.

Whether Susan House has created opportunities, or has just been clever enough to capture them in a capricious business, she has pursued every chance to get in front of a microphone since her teens. While still in college she joined a jazz band with her brother and a cousin called the Hugo Eckener Septet, named for a German who ran rescue missions for Jews in Nazi Germany. Susan sang in the band, played guitar, percussion and harmonica, and also marketed the group. The septet implemented a precocious and successful idea to finance a recording through a pre-sale among their peers. The product of that plan, a CD titled Eckener’s Landing, features “Love,” an original song by Susan House. The band broke up after a few years, and Susan left school and started traveling, spontaneously moving based on where her next singing job might be, playing her guitar in coffee houses, etc. Her travels led her from coast to coast, and to Hawaii, where she lived in a jungle hut for a while after her gig ended. Eventually she hung up her grass skirt and returned to the Northwest, settled in Seattle, and immediately got into another band. When she and her boyfriend Tim made plans to marry, she decided to return to school for a nursing degree. She became a psychiatric nurse, part time singer, and mother to children Quinelle and Keaton.

In 1989, thanks to a piece of junk mail advertising, Susan House discovered and nurtured a talent and passion for acting which equals her passion for singing. A post card that arrived in her mailbox advertised a contest, and the prize offered a role in a movie. “That post card was a little gift from heaven,” Susan blithely recalls. Most people would have tossed it out, but to Susan House, who welcomes the unexpected, the card foretold an adventure. Susan entered the contest, and was smitten by the craft of acting. In the process she developed her talent by attending many professional acting classes throughout the U.S. She signed with an agent, and started landing professional jobs. Today, with roles in film and television, as well as
42 regional and national commercials to her credit, Susan has an active career. She is a member of SAG and AFTRA. and is AEA eligible.

In 2001, a physical injury led Susan to Yogi master Michael Gladych, age 95. He encouraged her to use visualization in her healing process, and the empowerment Susan gained opened up a new direction in her life. Having built a solid reputation as a singer in her adopted home of Seattle, Susan House decided to focus full time on the art and business of performing. One happy result of that effort is the recent release of her first full length CD, MISBEHAVIN’ HEART, on her newly formed record label SISU HEART. Radio DJ’s and listeners rewarded her singles, “Angel Eyes” and “Lazy Afternoon” with airplay across the country, and with inclusion on such prestigious charts as Friday Morning Quarterback and New Music Weekly. Recorded in Seattle with pianist Randy Halberstadt leading a jazz quintet, each track is imbued with the tenderness of memory, or the excitement of anticipation. The titles and the performances on MISBEHAVIN’ HEART reflect the joy, versatility and generosity of Ms. House herself. Susan had already grown fond of the recording process through her work on the 2001 release of “The Promise,” a song she recorded with Phil Seagran in tribute to New York City’s police and firefighters in the wake of September 11th. Although that experience was understandably bittersweet, she felt at home in the recording studio, and that is very much in evidence on the relaxed and swinging Misbehavin’ Heart.

With MISBEHAVIN’ HEART completed, and with the blessing of her husband and children, Susan traveled to Los Angeles on an extended fact-finding mission. On the advice of a publicist she had hired, Susan explored the idea of setting up her own record label. Then one evening, in one of those serendipitous moments that Susan attracts like lightning, she read an article in O Magazine that talked about the Finnish concept of sisu: it stands for the philosophy that what must be done will be done, regardless of what it takes, an almost magical quality, a combination of strength, perseverance,