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Dancing In the Dark

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Album Review

This isn't Sutton's tribute to Sinatra, although all the material here was recorded and made famous by him. Instead, it's her working through the nooks and crannies of his songbook, and bringing things out and putting her own particular polish on them. It could be something with strings, such as "What'll I Do?" or the intimacy of "I'll Be Around," which is as much a plea as a reassurance and resignation. Her version of "I Think of You," whose melody comes originally from Rachmaninov, is gloriously subtle, the emotion as softly drawn out as the syllables. "I Could Have Told You" offers comfort and a shoulder to cry on, a gentle embrace that's almost a whisper in Sutton's hands. The music here is at its best when the orchestra keeps away — they simply become overkill, the too-sweet icing on an already-delicious cake. Perhaps her biggest test, though, comes at the end of the album, tackling "Fly Me to the Moon," followed by a medley of "Last Dance" and "Dancing in the Dark," taking on some of Sinatra's most famous pieces. While on the former Sutton doesn't always dig to the absolute heart of the song, the arrangement is stunning, with some outstanding piano from Christian Jacob that frees the songs from its '50s shackles. Sutton does sparkle on the other piece, however, especially "Dancing in the Dark," where the orchestral contributions are kept to a minimum, and the tracks swings in a minimalist fashion, Sutton's voice imbued with the magic of the night. The album might have been inspired by Sinatra, but in her own way, Sutton has gone beyond her inspiration.

Customer Reviews


My favorite track on this album is "I'll Be Around." The arrangements on this album are classy and subtle, and not at all "cheesy". Sutton has a beautiful voice that is easy to listen to.


Beautiful voice, perfect intonation, and a fine sense of time. What more can you ask for in a singer? The piano player also does a nice job on this.

The Music (not Frank) Is The Message

This is not a Sinatra tribute album, so don’t be inadvertently misled by the title. If you look closely, you’ll see the subtitle reads: “inspired by the music of Frank Sinatra”, not “inspired by the singing style of Frank Sinatra." Sutton’s “Dancing in the Dark” is as far removed from a Sinatra recording as is the classic album “John Coltrane and Johhny Hartman”, a work whose balladic pace and sophisticated vocals are echoed here. Tierney Sutton’s voice is completely unsuited to belting out jazz tunes and she’s smart enough to know it. Instead, she uses her cool soprano to weave the same kind of spell with her vocals as Grace Kelly wove with her acting. Sutton’s flexible voice, her command of modulation and intonation, and particularly her innovative handling of “Frank’s songs” all go to make this recording a gem. “I'll Be Around”, “I Think of You”, “Where or When”, “I Could Have Told You” and “Emily” are especial standouts. The orchestra arrangements on this recording add fullness but remain unobtrusive, making Sutton and her pianist, Christian Jacobs, the primary voices here. It’s a match made in heaven, and Jacobs is a wonderful pianist in is own right. I think this is a terrific album in every respect. As always, Tierney makes elegance sound easy.


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
Dancing In the Dark, Tierney Sutton
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Customer Ratings