4

Jacqui Sutton: Notes From The Frontier: A Musical Journey

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Jacqui Sutton: Notes From The Frontier: A Musical Journey In America's infancy, exploration and a thirst for discovery were endemic to the human spirit. Over time, no stone went unturned, the world shrunk and people, by and large, became content with what they already knew. Something as simple as a new television program or electronic gadget now quenches the thirst-for-the-unknown that was once unquenchable in the mind of mankind, but true musical spirits aren't satisfied in this manner; they never stop searching. These musical pioneers explore the cracks and crevices between styles to find something new and meaningful to say, and vocalist Jacqui Sutton belongs to this breed.

Sutton finds the old in the new, the new in the old, and the joy in blurring lines that some refuse to blur. Her debut—Billie & Dolly (Toy Blue Typewriter, 2010)—honed in on two different figures from opposite sides of the fence, honoring Dolly Parton and Billie Holiday in unique fashion. Now, with Notes From The Frontier, she's broadening her gaze and taking a panoramic look at America.

Her aptly named style—Frontier Jazz—is synthesized through the marriage of bluegrass, musical theater, classical influences, jazz and more, but isn't purely based in any one of those categories; if record stores still existed, they'd have a hell of a time trying to file this one. A rootsy take on Gershwin's "Summertime" isn't Broadway, Appalachia, soul or jazz, but a combination of all four, while "Nature Boy" is Carnegie Hall classicism, Nat "King" Cole and Argentinean tango rolled into one. "Lady Of The Harbor" cuts to the core of the American spirit, with Emma Lazarus' famed "New Colossus" lines floating above a heavenly mixture of Irish flute, keyboard, melodion, trombone, cello, bass, percussion, banjo and guitar. An odd patriotic stirring comes to the surface on "Where The Music Comes From," which is underscored by fife and drum classicism with a modern twist. All of this music speaks to Sutton's sophisticated tastes and all-seeing eye, but she ultimately sounds best when working in neo-soul-meets-folk mode ("Summertime" and "Weary Angel") or gentle, countrified environs ("Blue Mountain"). Her true spirit roams free on this material and connects to the heart and mind in myriad ways.

Notes From The Frontier is melting pot music with a heavy emphasis on the heartland, as seen through modernistic eyes. This is music taken from the branches that sprouted from the tree trunk that grew from the roots of the American people.

Track Listing: Summertime; Lady Of The Harbor; Hummingbird/Blue Rondo A La Turk; Jenny Rebecca; Freed; One And Only; Nature Boy; Dear Friend; Where The Music Comes From; Weary Angel; Blue Mountain; Better Than Anything.

Personnel: Jacqui Sutton: vocals; Paul Chester: guitar, banjo; Anthony Sapp: bass; Ilya Janos: percussion; Eddie Lewis: trumpet, flugelhorn, piccolo trumpet; Henry Darragh: keyboards, trombone, melodion; Lyndon Hughes: drums, vocals; Cindy Scott: vocals; Aralee Dorough: flute; Bob Chadwick: Irish flute; Max Dyer: cello.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced


Shop

More Articles

Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Right Up On CD/LP/Track Review Right Up On
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Wanderlust CD/LP/Track Review Wanderlust
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Imagination CD/LP/Track Review Imagination
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Evolution CD/LP/Track Review Evolution
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 23, 2017
Read On A Monday Evening CD/LP/Track Review On A Monday Evening
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Waltz About Nothing" CD/LP/Track Review Waltz About Nothing
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 3, 2016
Read "Just for Fun" CD/LP/Track Review Just for Fun
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 26, 2016
Read "Faith" CD/LP/Track Review Faith
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 9, 2016
Read "One More Manhattan" CD/LP/Track Review One More Manhattan
by Jim Olin
Published: May 28, 2016
Read "Porcupine Meat" CD/LP/Track Review Porcupine Meat
by James Nadal
Published: September 29, 2016
Read "Double Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review Double Quartet
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 3, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

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!