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With her third album for Telarc and her fourth overall, songstress Tierney Sutton has established herself as one of the leading lights among today's jazz vocalists. Offering a 14-tune play list with lots of variety and about 65 minutes of music, both vocal and instrumental, Sutton shows that she's a true singer of song without whom there would be no songs. She takes such authoritative possession of whatever she selects, it is hard for another singer to reclaim it. This puts her in the same league as Billie, Sarah, Ella, Carmen and Peggy. She has all the technical qualifications, diction, timing, and phrasing that most good singers have. But there's also that special spark of personality which raises her work a notch above many of the rest. Moreover, she can use her voice as an instrument with such ease as she shows on "Walkin' After Midnight." One would think that "Something Cool" belongs to June Christy. But Sutton borrows it for about four minutes to give it her own spin which is somewhat more matter of fact, less self pitying than the Christy version. An album tour de force is the opening chorus of "Alone Together" where Sutton is accompanied solely by the bass of Trey Henry. She also shows on this tune her inventive way of scatting, mixing the wordless vocalizing with regular lyrics rather than mindlessly leaping off into a long nondirectional round of scat. This fits in perfectly with the way Henry is doing bass lines. Of the trio of songs from My Fair Lady, "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" especially stands out only because of the interplay between the singer and pianist, Christian Jacob. as they eventually turn this tune into a torch song. Sutton captures with aplomb the urbanity and sensuality of the Schwartz/Dietz classic "Alone Together."
All in all, this is a singer who treats each tune she sings as an individual statement using whatever techniques are necessary to bring out the best in the music and lyrics rather than throwing all the tunes into the same pot and using the same large singing spoon to stir them. Visit Sutton at www.tierneysutton.com.
Track Listing: (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66; Something Cool; Wouldn't It Be Loverly; I've Grown Accustomed to His Face; Show Me; Comes Love; Reflections; Alone Together; Out of This World; All or Nothing at All; Ding-Dong! the Witch Is Dead; Walkin' After Midnight; Crazy; The Best Is Yet to Come.
Personnel: Tierney Sutton: vocals; Christian Jacob: piano; Trey Henry: bass; Ray Brinker: drums.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.