TIERNEY SUTTON BAND, AMERICAN ROAD


Photo by Richard Termine

For much of her career, singer Tierney Sutton has invested in the great American Songbook with an earnest point-of-view that’s highly personalized and intrinsically musical. After 18 years with her esteemed band, pianist Christian Jacob, bassists Kevin Axt, Trey Henry and drummer/percussionist Ray Brinker, Sutton looks to their life on the road for her ninth album “American Road” (BFM Records), a cultural chronicle that enlists tunes by Leonard Bernstein (“Somewhere,” “Something’s Coming/Cool”) and Gershwin (“It Ain’t Necessarily So,” “Summertime,” “My Man’s Gone Now”) side by side with the melodic kick of “On Broadway” and a lush, bass driven “Amazing Grace.”

In tone, it’s a sprawling poetic narrative performed with a refreshing candor that reframes Sutton’s jazz singer tag. Although she wears that badge honorably on the sublime piano duet “Tenderly,” she mostly sheds the jazz pretext on the breezy pop groove of “Wayfaring Stranger” and the beats that underscore “It Ain’t Necessarily So.” And, actually, it’s that earthy, soulful vibe that makes Sutton and her band sound so good. In much the same way that bassist Charlie Haden and guitarist Pat Metheny created “Beyond The Missouri Sky,” Tierney and the band strike a balance between patriotism and love of the land, most notably on “America the Beautiful,” a wistful ballad clearly performed in a contemporary context that Sutton infuses with equal parts hope and heartbreak.  (12 tracks; 61:16 minutes)

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JAZZ IN SPACE: TIERNEY SUTTON BAND, AMERICAN ROAD

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

TIERNEY SUTTON BAND, AMERICAN ROAD


Photo by Richard Termine

For much of her career, singer Tierney Sutton has invested in the great American Songbook with an earnest point-of-view that’s highly personalized and intrinsically musical. After 18 years with her esteemed band, pianist Christian Jacob, bassists Kevin Axt, Trey Henry and drummer/percussionist Ray Brinker, Sutton looks to their life on the road for her ninth album “American Road” (BFM Records), a cultural chronicle that enlists tunes by Leonard Bernstein (“Somewhere,” “Something’s Coming/Cool”) and Gershwin (“It Ain’t Necessarily So,” “Summertime,” “My Man’s Gone Now”) side by side with the melodic kick of “On Broadway” and a lush, bass driven “Amazing Grace.”

In tone, it’s a sprawling poetic narrative performed with a refreshing candor that reframes Sutton’s jazz singer tag. Although she wears that badge honorably on the sublime piano duet “Tenderly,” she mostly sheds the jazz pretext on the breezy pop groove of “Wayfaring Stranger” and the beats that underscore “It Ain’t Necessarily So.” And, actually, it’s that earthy, soulful vibe that makes Sutton and her band sound so good. In much the same way that bassist Charlie Haden and guitarist Pat Metheny created “Beyond The Missouri Sky,” Tierney and the band strike a balance between patriotism and love of the land, most notably on “America the Beautiful,” a wistful ballad clearly performed in a contemporary context that Sutton infuses with equal parts hope and heartbreak.  (12 tracks; 61:16 minutes)

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