Tierney Sutton Band: Desire

Jeff Winbush By

Sign in to view read count
Tierney Sutton Band: Desire On first hearing Desire, by vocalist Tierney Sutton, it's curious why the audience is so quiet, until realizing that it's not a live album, though it sounds like it should be. The underlying and unifying theme here is Sutton's goal to not only deliver the material from a spiritual perspective, but to include recited texts from The Hidden Words of Baha'ullah. Sutton has been a practicing Baha'i for over 25 years.

What comes from these lofty ambitions is an album that simmers low yet never quite catches fire. Sutton is a fine singer technically, but her chilly mannerisms and tepid arrangements give Desire a professional sheen that never quite connects. It's not that it can't be done in jazz. Spirituality has always found a outlet in the genre going back to John Coltrane's A Love Supreme (Impulse!, 1964). That type of passion and fire is absent here.

Last time out, with On the Other Side (Telarc Records, 2007), Sutton explored the duality and degrees of happiness. What she means by the trio of songs here ("My Heart Belongs to Daddy," "Long Daddy Green" and "Fever"), where "daddy" is a recurring theme in her lyrical delivery, is open to interpretation. What does come through between Sutton's sparse arrangements and vocalist Elaine Martone's feathery light production is that the music is not simply meant to be heard, but perceived.

Sometimes it seems like there's not much going on musically here. The contributions by pianist Christian Jacob are restrained to the point of being underwhelming as are the double-basses of Kevin Axt and Trey Henry, and drummer Ray Brinker. Nothing is bad here; it's just that nothing particularly memorable is going on. Neither the singer nor the songs make much of a lasting impact and even after repeated listening, there isn't a moment that lingers as particularly outstanding—or terrible.

Desire is by no means a bad album. But it's a decidedly non-commercial one as Sutton makes it clear that her artistic integrity takes priority over catering to airplay or big sales. For the casual listener, she may be something of an acquired taste, especially if they don't entirely "get" how earnestly she holds true to the musical goal.

Sutton completists may be more enraptured by Desire while others may come away wondering what all the fuss is about.

Track Listing: It's Only A Paper Moon; My Heart Belongs To Daddy; Long Daddy Green; Fever; It's All Right With Me; Then I'll Be Tired of You; Cry Me A River; Love Me or Leave Me; Heart's Desire; Whatever Lola Wants; Skylark.

Personnel: Tierney Sutton: vocals; Christian Jacob: piano; Trey Henry: bass; Kevin Axt: bass; Ray Brinker: drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Telarc Records | Style: Vocal


More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "The Gil Evans Orchestra Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix" CD/LP/Track Review The Gil Evans Orchestra Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: August 23, 2016
Read "Our Second Set" CD/LP/Track Review Our Second Set
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2016
Read "Flux" CD/LP/Track Review Flux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "The Expensive Train Set" CD/LP/Track Review The Expensive Train Set
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 5, 2016
Read "Amiira" CD/LP/Track Review Amiira
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2016
Read "Potsdamer Platz" CD/LP/Track Review Potsdamer Platz
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: February 3, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!