The Tierney Sutton Band
Formed around the delicate, classy vocals of the lead singer The Tierney Sutton Band features some great instrumentalists to help shape the sound – bassists Trey Henry and Kevin Axt, drummer/percussionist Ray Brinker and pianist Christian Jacob. They’ve made some great albums and are not opposed to a theme-record including a recent stab at some Sting covers called – rightly enough – The Sting Variations.
Sutton’s voice – and band – is the sort you figure you’ll see in a film; the wee jazz combo in the bar, and in fact her music has appeared in plenty of films and TV shows, she even collaborated with Clint Eastwood for the music to his movie Sully
So it’s really no stretch for the group to now be tackling a range of classic cinematic musical moments.
We open with The Windmills Of Your Mind and a medley of Moon River / Calling You – nice but safe. Things really start to take off with the gorgeous rendition of On A Clear Day, dazzling bass runs and a joyous, playful piano, the drums scurrying beneath. And Sutton as good as ever with this great melody.
There are big, bold dramatic ballads too (What Are You Doing With The Rest Of Your Life?) which sound exactly as you expect – piano and voice left to do the dark shading. There are a couple of lighter, novelty pieces (If I Only Had A Brain, Hopelessly Devoted To You) and there’s a weird but possibly wonderful jazz makeover for The Sound of Silence. It won’t be for everyone but I liked it – reminded me a lot of the arrangements Patricia Barber used to conjure.
You’re The One That I Want is a bit cheesy – but maybe that’s me just objecting to too much ONJ in the one place.
But whatever points are lost there she and the group make up for by including a version of It Might Be You, one of modern cinema’s best ever weepies. Over six and a half minutes the band really treats this song with kid-gloves and I love it. Gorgeous work here.
The album is similar in tone to Bill Frisell’s work with Petra Haden on When You Wish Upon A Star but I don’t want to set up and unfair comparison (Frisell’s album was a work of genius after all). So let’s just call them nice companion records. They go well together. There are certainly plenty of strengths here. It’s the best I’ve heard the Sutton Band when all cylinders are firing. And I’m a total sucker for interpretations of classic movie moments and themes.
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