One of Jamaica’s best singer-songwriters has made her transition from this earthly plane.
My first recollection of seeing Suzanne Couch perform was at the monthly Mutual Life jazz concerts held during the 1980s.
In 1993, I had the pleasure of meeting her and husband Peter at their home studio in Jacks Hill where along with another piano technician we worked on their piano in preparation for a recording session that was to be done with the legendary Monty Alexander who I also had the pleasure of meeting as well.
It was in 2000, listening to her being interviewed by Michael Anthony Cuffe in relation to her then newly released album “Lifelines” that I realized that she was a major league songwriting talent. The title track has remained one of my favourite songs.
Even though Suzanne did not have the brand name recognition her talent deserved, she did collaborate with big name Jamaican talents like Monty Alexander, Maxi Priest, Toots Hibbert, Mutabaruka.
On line reviews of Suzanne’s work were very favourable. Allmusic.com describes her as “a singer, pianist, and songwriter who writes wonderfully nuanced songs of love in the contemporary world”. Lastfm.com “Couch has a smooth, soothing voice with just enough grit in its timbre to make it amazingly expressive”. This same reviewer also compared her sound to the legendary singer/songwriter Carole King. An Amazon customer reviewer said “This is the greatest unknown, musical gem on the planet. Suzanne is a fantastic songwriter with an equally fantastic voice”. Another customer said “I love her music and to this day when I’m stressed, I play ‘Water wash over me’.
Suzanne also combined her musical talent with her culinary talent with good effect, preparing meals for fellow musicians for rehearsal sessions. She also had a YouTube show cleverly titled “Chewn In”. She also appeared on an episode of “Live from Daryl’s House” hosted by Darryl Hall of Hall and Oates fame. One of Suzanne’s recipes was published in an issue of Food and Wine magazine. https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/spicy-jerk-chicken
A few weeks ago, Suzanne gave her final performance on a concert “Hope in the hills” a fund raising concert for cancer hospital Hope Institute. This concert featured Joss Stone. Suzanne made her transition in a cancer care facility in Mexico on July 9.
In 2013, Suzanne gave an interview to local magazine Tallawah where she said “My songs are not for a year; their timeless”. Absolutely true. Walk good Suzanne.