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Tierney Sutton — After Blue (2013)

 Tierney Sutton — After Blue (2013)

Tierney Sutton — After Blue

Official logo NOMINATED ARTISTS & WORKS
    A gifted American jazz singer with a strong, wide-ranging voice and uncluttered style.
Born: June 28, 1963 in Milwaukee, WI
Location: Omaha, Nebraska ~ Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Album release: September 24, 2013
Record Label: BFM Jazz/Varese Sarabande
Duration:     58:16
Tracks:
01. Blue     4:11
02. All I Want     3:29
03. Court and Spark     4:58
04. Don't Go to Strangers     5:56
05. The Drycleaner from Des Moines     5:15
06. Big Yellow Taxi     3:06
07. Woodstock     6:08
08. Little Green     4:53
09. Be Cool     5:50
10. Answer Me My Love     3:45
11. Both Sides Now     5:11
12. April in Paris / Free Man in Paris     5:36
Tracks 1—3, 6—9, 11 written by Joni Mitchell
Track 4 written by Redd Evans / Arthur Kent / Dave Mann
Track 5 written by Charles Mingus / Joni Mitchell
Track 10 written by Fred Rauch / Carl Sigman / Gerhard Winkler
Track 12 written by Vernon Duke / E.Y. "Yip" Harburg / Joni Mitchell
Personnel:
Tierney Sutton: vocals
Hubert Laws: flute (5, 9)
Peter Erskine: drums (5, 9)
Ralph Humphrey: drums (6)
Larry Goldings: piano, B3 organ (3, 5, 7, 9, 12)
Serge Merlaud: guitar (4, 10)
Kevin Axt: bass (4)
Al Jarreau: vocals (9)
Turtle Island String Quartet (1, 2, 8, 11)
Album Moods: Theatrical Passionate Bittersweet Dramatic Elegant Intimate Joyous Melancholy Refined Reserved Romantic Sophisticated Stylish
Themes: Classy Gatherings Nighttime Romance
CREDITS:
Kevin Axt  Acoustic Bass Guitar, Arranger, Package Design
David Balakrishnan  Arranger, Violin
Scott Bergstrom  Assistant Engineer
Julie Bernstein  Arranger
Steven Corn  Executive Producer
Chris Digirolamo  Publicity
Vernon Duke  Composer
Peter Erskine  Drums
Redd Evans  Composer
Lucas Fackler  Assistant Engineer
Larry Goldings  Hammond B3, Piano
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg  Composer
Ralph Humphrey  Drums
Michele Ito  A&R
Al Jarreau  Guest Artist, Vocals
Arthur Kent  Composer
Hubert Laws  Flute
David Luke  Engineer
Dave Mann  Composer
Elaine Martone  Producer
Serge Merlaud  Arranger, Guitar
Charles Mingus  Composer
Joni Mitchell  Composer
Fred Rauch  Composer
Tatijana Shoan  Photography
Carl Sigman  Composer
Mateusz Smoczynski  Violin
Mark Summer  Arranger, Cello
Tierney Sutton  Arranger, Cover Illustration, Primary Artist, Producer, Vocals
Jean Taxis  Engineer, Mixing
Turtle Island Quartet  String Quartet
Benjamin von Gutzeit  Viola
Andy Waterman  Engineer, Mastering, Mixing
Steven Weber  Executive Producer
Gerhard Winkler  Composer
Editorial Reviews
After nine CDs over 20 years with her longstanding Tierney Sutton band, the five-time Grammy-nominated Jazz vocalist decided to leave her comfort zone and leap off the cliff by tackling an homage to the revered pop singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell. With After Blue, her most daring and revealing project to date, Sutton puts her own unique stamp on familiar Mitchell tunes going back to 1969's "Both Sides Now" and 1970's "Big Yellow Taxi" and including more recent numbers like 1979's "The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines" and 1982's jivey "Be Cool," along with Joni's take on the standard "Don't Go to Strangers" from her 2000 orchestral album, Both Sides Now.
REVIEW
By C. MICHAEL BAILEY, Published: September 26, 2013
Tierney Sutton is the calm current flowing through the turbulent water of jazz vocals, making big changes and important recordings without stirring the water too much. Her creative presence and influence cannot be denied when listening to Gretchen Parlato, Becca Stevens and Renee Yoxon and Mark Ferguson among many others. Sutton's musical metaphysics is grounded in cool yet penetrating exploration using the traditional jazz instrumentation and songbook, transforming both in the bargain. On After Blue, Sutton steps away from the "standard" Great American Songbook to what can be considered a "new" Great American (Canadian) Songbook, that of vocalist composer Joni Mitchell.
The last recording Sutton devoted to a single artist was 2001's Blue In Green (Telarc), which was devoted to the compositions of pianist Bill Evans. On that recording, Sutton took what was initially composed as instrumental music, giving it a voice and in doing so, revealing Evans' melodic gift. She does the same and expands the scope of Mitchell's songs, recasting them in new and refreshing ways.
Sutton performs a beautiful vocal alchemy with Mitchell's material. She steps far enough out of her jazz box of familiarity to transform her voice into a new force of nature. With perfect comfort, Sutton renews this material with her singing. These performances exist on an equal footing with the originals, not as imitations, but as complete re-assimilations. This is what interpretive art is meant to be. This swirling evolution is what makes Sutton one of the two or three most important vocalists in the post-Fitzgerald-Vaughan-Carter period.
Another area in which Sutton excels is in the collaborative arranging of these songs. She has always experimented with format and does not alter her modus operandi here. On "Blue," "All I Want," "Little Green," and "Both Sides Now," Sutton is backed by the Turtle Island String Quartet as arranged by first violinist David Balakrishnan. Sutton's soprano is well suited for this chamber treatment making these pieces exceptional, particularly "Blue" and "Both Sides Now."
Sutton favors vocal duets with solo instruments as on "Big Yellow Taxi" where she pairs with drummer Ralph Humphrey. Frequent collaborator Larry Goldings provides a moody piano on "Court and Spark" and "Woodstock" while he rocks the B3 on "Be Cool" (on which Sutton duets with Al Jarreau). Sutton closes the disc with a mashup of "April in Paris" and "Free Man in Paris" backed only by Goldings, who provides a crepuscular mood to close this most excellent disc.
Fortaken: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/
Review by Thom JurekRating: ****
Tierney Sutton claims she had never really encountered Joni Mitchell until she heard the songwriter's glorious 2000 album Both Sides Now, a collection comprised mainly of standards. (An album she holds in the same regard as Frank Sinatra's In the Wee Small Hours and Billie Holiday's Lady in Satin.) In 2011 she performed four of Mitchell's songs during a performance with the Turtle Island String Quartet; that gig set this project in motion. After Blue is Sutton's first offering that doesn’t include her regular band — its members were involved with other projects at the time. Instead, her collaborators are a collection of jazz luminaries who include Peter Erskine, Larry Goldings, Ralph Humphrey, Hubert Laws, the TISQ, and Al Jarreau, who duets on "Be Cool" (the only track to feature one of Sutton's own musicians, bassist Kevin Axt). Sutton reads Mitchell by moving through the songwriter's various creative periods, embracing the singer/songwriter's jazz leanings in her phrasing, improvisation, and syncopation, and their shared love of the Great American Songbook. This last notion is evidenced by Sutton's version of "Don’t Go to Strangers" and "Answer Me My Love," both of which Mitchell poignantly delivered on Both Sides Now. She also seamlessly melds closer "Freeman in Paris" with "April in Paris." Other standouts include "Blue" and "Little Green" with TISQ, the fingerpopping "The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines" with Laws, Erskine, and Goldings, and the swinging, thoroughly re-envisioned "Big Yellow Taxi." On "Both Sides Now," she is accompanied only by Mark Summer's cello. For those accustomed to hearing Sutton re-interpreting standards from the golden era, After Blue retains her trademark gifts of phrasing, restraint, and emotional honesty. But as an album, it is just as remarkable as Herbie Hancock's The Joni Letters in its creative rapprochement of Mitchell's music with the jazz tradition, and reveals Sutton at a vocal and interpretive peak. (http://www.allmusic.com/)
DISCOGRAPHY:
1998 — Introducing Tierney Sutton
2000 — Unsung Heroes
2001 — Blue in Green
2002 — Something Cool
2004 — Dancing in the Dark
2005 — I'm with the Band
2007 — On the Other Side
2009 — Desire
2011 — American Road (released by BFM Jazz)
2011 — Grade 3 featured on the Shine On! Volume One album. (Rel. September 30, 2011)
Website: http://www.tierneysutton.com/tierneysutton/
Label: http://www.bfmjazz.com/
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Tierney Sutton — After Blue (2013)

 

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