Jazz is unique in the way it’s like a map, it has so many directions an artist can take and follow. For some the degree of chance in changing direction is a calculated risk, which if designed with foresight can be advantageous. Others take that road of chance and fall into an arena that just does not fit them is style and melody, it’s that 90-degree detour that raises questions.
Such is the case of Tierney Suttons new release from Telarc I’m With The Band. Although not inferior by any means, it is an adequate effort but not the Tierney we all embrace.
Those of us who expect nothing but top shelf vocal offerings from Ms. Sutton were surprised to experience a daring and offbeat performance. Some of the sounds were very smooth to the ear. However some tones seemed unnatural.... out of character for Ms. Sutton. For Ms. Sutton has done nothing but delighted fans with her angelic tones and her distinguishable sultry delivery.
Select cuts however are of the Sutton flair, as is the case with "If I Loved You" a splendid piece of heart meeting the soul. The mix of finely arranged keyboard intertwined with Sutton melodic tones allows her sense of feel to unearth itself.
One piece that left me perplexed was "What A Little Moonlight Will Do," a directionless Suttonesque delivery that just did not fit the artist’s style. Seemed almost force fed into a rhythm and beat that was uncomfortable to grasp.
The Sutton tone returns again as she vocalizes " Blue Skies" with the elegance she has always exhibited. However she picks it up in beat in areas where her arrangement variations do work. With this enhancement and strong piano solo she does make it known she will keep growing strong, not only as a vocalist but also all around artist. Very powerful cut for Ms. Sutton.
So it may not be her top-shelf effort overall, but glimpses of the fine Sutton technique shine. For Sutton fans it is still worth the listen so develop your own theory...This performance of I’m With The Band will make you dissect each cut individually. Looking for more of Ms. Sutton soon....