196

Tierney Sutton: Unsung Heroes

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
Tierney Sutton: Unsung Heroes Tierney Sutton is a young jazz singer with a warm, graceful voice, an unpretentious delivery and a great feel for ballads. On Unsung Heroes, Sutton’s fluid style makes some very difficult pieces sound simple and beautiful.

Though Sutton didn’t come to jazz until she was 20, she’s a natural talent who released a widely praised debut album in 1998. Now Sutton heads up the jazz vocal department at USC. Her second release Unsung Heroes finds her interpreting various mainstream jazz compositions originally intended as instrumentals. The title refers to the musicians who either composed these pieces or adapted them for a jazz rendering.

A soprano with a pliant voice, Sutton is well equipped to tackle such tricky material. Sutton’s singing is vibrant and inviting, and manifests a horn-like quality during her scat passages. Like the best jazz singers, Sutton never overwhelms a song, but always seems to guide it to the right place. Credit also goes to the superb band led by talented pianist Christian Jacob.

Whether vamping through a swing tune, scatting on a bop number, or gently caressing a ballad, Sutton brings out the best in these 10 songs. The ballads here are particularly effective, most notably the opening track "Remember Me" and Jimmy Rowles’ "A Timeless Place (The Peacocks)." The former is a wistful reading of Joe Henderson’s "Recordame," while the latter is a complex, melancholic piece that would likely intimidate even the most experienced jazz vocalist. The fact that Sutton pulls it off so beautifully is evidence of her great talent. Equally challenging is Wayne Shorter’s "All for One (Speak No Evil)" with lyrics by Vanessa Rubin. Sutton negotiates this song’s intricate turns with an uplifting performance augmented by some tasty bop-oriented piano by Jacob.

Sumptuous slow numbers "Early Autumn" and "Spring is Here" are offset by up-tempo pieces "Bernie’s Tune" and "Indiana/Donna Lee." "Bernie’s Tune" features a bopping exchange between Sutton and flugelhorn player Buddy Childers (ex of Stan Kenton’s band), a longtime collaborator in LA's jazz clubs.

Unsung Heroes showcases a classy singer, some tasteful songs, and various top-flight players. It’s a superb, well-rounded jazz vocal release.

Track Listing: Remember Me; Early Autumn; A Timeless Place; Bernie's Tune' Spring Is Here; Joy Spring; All For One; Indiana/Donna Lee; When The Lights Are Low; Con Alma. (Total Time: 57:28)

Personnel: Tierney Sutton: Vocals; Christian Jacob: Piano; Trey Henry: Bass; Ken Wild: Bass; Ray Brinker: Drums; Gary Foster: Alto Flute, Alto Saxophone; Buddy Childers: Flugelhorn; Alan Kaplan: Trombone; Jamie Findley: Guitar.

Title: Unsung Heroes | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Telarc Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Sonder CD/LP/Track Review Sonder
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Putting Off Death CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Popofoni" CD/LP/Track Review Popofoni
by Duncan Heining
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Serious Play" CD/LP/Track Review Serious Play
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 3, 2017
Read "This Is Nate Najar" CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Closer Than Before" CD/LP/Track Review Closer Than Before
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 14, 2016
Read "TITOK" CD/LP/Track Review TITOK
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 14, 2017
Read "Mind Behind Closed Eyes" CD/LP/Track Review Mind Behind Closed Eyes
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 22, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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