165

Sue Tucker: Meant For You

Mathew Bahl By

Sign in to view read count
I have to admit that, for very superficial reasons, I did not have high expectations for Sue Tucker's Meant for You. An unknown Minnesota-based singer performing standards on a CD produced, engineered, manufactured and distributed by the singer and her husband. It had the feel of a housewife's vanity project. The CD packaging is not exactly eye-catching, and I recognize that this is ridiculous, but even her name sounded boring.

However, I'm pleased to report that there is nothing boring about the music on Meant for You. Sue Tucker is a wonderful singer. Not just better than expected or good for an unknown singer, but straight out wonderful. As with every good jazz singer, Ms. Tucker has the fundamentals down - she sings in tune and she swings hard. Her voice has a light, unforced, attractive tone. Stylistically, she falls into the traditional jazz singing school. The standards are not in 12/8 time and you won't find any rock tunes in her repertoire. There are no radical reinterpretations of standards or bold expansions of the art of jazz singing. She doesn't vocalize instrumental solos or even scat. Rather than sounding like Ella or Sarah or Anita, Ms. Tucker's style is more reminiscent of great classic jazz singers like Mildred Bailey and Connee Boswell. She improvises within the words adhering closely to the melody at first and then building on and expanding her variations as the tune progresses. Her relaxed, understated phrasing breathes new life into "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To" and "I've Got the World on a String." Ms. Tucker builds genuine excitement on "Too Close for Comfort" and "Undecided" without resorting to overheated theatrics. Her sensitive, thoughtful interpretations of "The Very Thought of You" and "Blame It On My Youth" demonstrate a deep appreciation for the meaning of lyrics. The album's highpoint comes in a sexy, swinging, unmissable version of "Sugar" (the Stanley Turrentine tune not the Maceo Pinkard tune associated with Lee Wiley).

Sue Tucker is a singer who shouldn't have to make her own records. She deserves the support of a good record label and the opportunity to be heard by the national jazz audience.


Track Listing: A Foggy Day, You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To, Sugar, Easy Street, I've Got the World on a String, The Very Thought of You, Too Close for Comfort, Undecided, Blame It On My Youth, Waltz for Debby, and Meant for You

Personnel: Sue Tucker: vocals; Jim Oatts: trumpet/fugelhorn; Doug Haining: alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, clarinet; Kent Saunders: guitar; Rick Carlson: piano; Gordy Johnson: bass; Steve Pikal: bass; Gordy Knudtson: drums; Brett Forberg: drums; Ricky Peterson: piano.

Title: Meant For You | Year Released: 2000


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Moment Frozen CD/LP/Track Review Moment Frozen
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Minor Step CD/LP/Track Review Minor Step
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 19, 2017
Read A Meeting Of Spirits CD/LP/Track Review A Meeting Of Spirits
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2017
Read First Light CD/LP/Track Review First Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "Dyad Plays Jazz Arias" CD/LP/Track Review Dyad Plays Jazz Arias
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 12, 2016
Read "PausaLive" CD/LP/Track Review PausaLive
by Patrick Keyes
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "The Invariant" CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "Tangled" CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Planets + Persona" CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 18, 2017
Read "Sus" CD/LP/Track Review Sus
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 12, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.