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I'm With the Band

Tierney Sutton Band

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Album Review

Since popping into our collective jazz consciousness as a semifinalist in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocal Competition in 1998 and signing with Telarc Jazz a few years later, the versatile stylist Sutton Tierney has carved a unique career around theme-centered recordings — most notably with Unsung Heroes (featuring sung renditions of songs normally done as instrumentals) and Blue in Green (a tribute record to Bill Evans). Her creativity with tempo, song selection, and witty modulations is at full-throttle on her fifth disc for the label, I'm with the Band, an hour-long set recorded live at Birdland in March 2005. Though she's clearly the star and her ensemble is always in her service, the album title and cover photo beautifully illustrate the mutual love she and her brilliant bandmates have shared for ten years. Each tune has space for Tierney to shine and improvise over simple harmonic and rhythmic support before she lets them break free. On the opening track, "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise," she swings via words and scat over pianist Christian Jacob's alternately dark and light chordings, and drummer Ray Brinker's brisk brushes; then Jacob rolls with a feisty solo as Brinker and bassists Kevin Axt and Trey Henry groove behind him. "Let's Face the Music and Dance" features their very gentle support behind her restrained and thoughtful reflections, while Tierney and her rhythm section render "'S Wonderful" with a wistful wink. Tierney has her moments of gentle and poignant romance ("If I Loved You"), but is clearly having the most fun when she's moving at a faster tempo, alternating words and scat so effortlessly and seamlessly that you don't realize she's shifting back and forth. This disc is live jazz at its best and is destined to be a classic.

Customer Reviews

This album was nominated for a Grammy Award

I'm surprised that the review above does not mention the fact that this album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album.

okay

It was okay. There are much better singers/arrangements out there. Please check out Nancy Lamont first. She sings some of the same tunes, and she sings them much better. This album was just okay.

No soul

I love to hear singers that move me and sing from the heart versus from the head. A great singer never sounds like they're trying so hard to be understood or distorts the sounds of words.Also they don't caught up in their own sound;let's the words and story speak for itself.

Biography

Born: June 28, 1963 in Milwaukee, WI

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

A fine Los Angeles-based jazz singer, Tierney Sutton has a lot of potential for the future. She grew up in Milwaukee and attended Boston University and Wesleyan, where she gained a degree in Russian language and literature. At Wesleyan, Sutton became involved in singing jazz and after graduating she went to Berklee for a few semesters, studying under Jerry Bergonzi. In 1994 she moved to Los Angeles and has since become a fixture in the area's jazz scene. Sutton, who teaches voice at USC, often leads...
Full Bio
I'm With the Band, Tierney Sutton Band
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