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JazzWeek Vocalist of the Year 2005
"We wanted this record to cross all boundaries, to take recognizable tunes a step or two further. There's something for everyone in this one."—Tierney Sutton
In a recording career that spans less than five years, vocalist Tierney Sutton has quickly grabbed the attention of critics and fans worldwide and refused to let go. Although her technical superiority has already prompted numerous comparisons to legends like Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, Sutton breaks through to a new level with the release of Something Cool. With its fresh, hip approach to familiar tunes from the American songbook, Something Cool will appeal to erudite jazz listeners, but general audiences who love jazz and love these songs will fall in love with Tierney Sutton. Throughout the album's fourteen tracks, she vocally tips her hat to such jazz greats as Duke Ellington and Johnny Mercer, while honoring the many musicians with whom she has shared the stage over the years. Each track bears the indelible stamp of a singer at the height of her creative and interpretive powers.
On Something Cool, her third offering on Telarc, Sutton displays all the elements that have earmarked her earlier superb recordings: a strong rhythmic sense, dynamic vocal range and amazing improvisational abilities. All of these talents and more have made her a favorite among musicians who relish the opportunity to work with such a versatile singer. From the album's opening track, a superbly inventive version of "Route 66," Sutton cruises through the American songbook with the laid back but alluring phrasing of the title track. She does three very original turns in the Lerner and Loewe catalog: "Wouldn't It Be Loverly," "Show Me" and "I've Grown Accustomed To His Face (all from the classic musical, My Fair Lady). Other highlights include Johnny Mercer's "Out of This World" and an introspective reading of the Howard Dietz classic, "Alone Together."
Sutton is also an artist who's not afraid to take chances. She casts her spell on "Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead," a track that showcases her unique scatting style. One of the album's sweetest moments comes as Sutton takes on the Willie Nelson staple, "Crazy." She injects so much feeling into the texture of the song that by the closing bars, she has made it her own.
Raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sutton moved to California after more than a decade during which she launched her career in the Boston area. After settling in Los Angeles, she had a chance to hear Jack Sheldon's Big Band, with its rhythm section of pianist Christian Jacob, bassist Trey Henry and drummer Ray Brinker. When Sheldon asked Sutton to sit in and people heard what she could do, more work started coming her way. Jacob, Henry and Brinker also landed themselves a new gig—part of the Tierney Sutton Band that now tours the United States and abroad. After nine years together, Tierney and company have evolved into a tight musical unit, and she regards them as some of the best jazz players in the business.
Sutton has two previous albums on Telarc: Unsung Heroes (CD-83477) is a collection of jazz instrumental standards that Tierney has recorded with vocals, while Blue in Green (CD-83522) features interpretations of music written by—or associated with—the late jazz pianist and composer, Bill Evans.