Tierney Sutton: Dancing in the Dark: Inspired by the Music of Frank Sinatra (2003)
On her fourth Telarc recording (her fifth overall), Ms. Sutton turns her attention to the Frank Sinatra songbook. Spurred on by her longtime trio, Ms. Sutton highlights some surprises from the songbook. There is no "I’ve Got You Under My Skin," "Angel Eyes," or "In The Wee Small Hours" on this recording. The expected staples include "Last Night When We Were Young" and "Fly Me To The Moon," while the remaining pieces come from Sinatra’s "dark corners."
"What’ll I Do" opens the disc with a beautifully strange bass rondo by Trey Henry that extends halfway through the first chorus before transforming into a slow, lush kiss with Christian Jacob’s impressionistic pianism. The band unites in a perfect ballad tempo, slow and considerate. Flying on a plush set of strings arranged and conducted by Jacob, Ms. Sutton coos her way through this Irving Berlin standard. In a perfect way, "What’ll I Do" sets the stage for the rest of the recording.
With daring and bold arrangements, Ms. Sutton and her band redefine jazz vocals in a manner just to the right of what Cassandra Wilson has done in the past number of years. Tierney Sutton chooses to pioneer new inroads in jazz vocals with the standard instruments, choosing inventive and bright arrangements where Ms. Wilson does the same with less standard instrumentation. "Fly Me to the Moon" is not the bouncy lyric of Sinatra as much as it is a fast, hip lullaby. "Where or When" is much the same way, opened by Henry with accents by Jacob and drummer Brinker.
Dancing in the Dark is a super tribute to both Ms. Sutton and Mr. Sinatra.
This and all pieces published in December 2003 are dedicated to my late father, Norman L. Bailey (1915-2003).
Track Listing: What
Personnel: Tierney Sutton
Record Label: Telarc Records