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The Inspiring Music of Tierney Sutton

January 10, 2011

If you are a jazz lover, you probably already know about Tierney Sutton. If not, she may just convert you.

As a big fan of Frank Sinatra, I have heard Tierney Sutton’s music regularly on Siriusly Sinatra at XM73. Her unique voice and song interpretation always makes me take notice. Sutton is based in L.A. and I never thought that I would get a chance to hear her in person. Until last week, that is. On Tuesday, my Indianapolis Arts and Entertainment email showed that she would be appearing Friday and Saturday at The Cabaret at the Columbia Club. I immediately bought tickets for Friday night.

To say that she exceeded my expectations is an understatement. Jazz is best heard live, not on radio. With three of the finest musicians in the world, Christian Jacobs on piano, Trey Henry and Kevin Axt on bass and Ray Brinker on drums, and Tierney Sutton on vocals, this band weaves a tapestry of harmony in song.

Sutton related that, over the 17 years they have been together, they have compiled more than 150 arrangements uniquely their own. You will never hear the same set list twice. When they arrive at a venue, they get a feel for the place and then decide what they will play.

Their latest album, Desire, is up for a Grammy – best vocal jazz album – and it is the third year in a row they have been nominated in this category.

There is a spiritual aspect to Sutton’s singing that is felt. As she says in the article highlighted at the end of this post,

“When we take to the stage, we’re basically engaging in a spiritual process. We’re meditating. Sometimes at the end of a set we can’t remember consciously what happened. And the goal of any performance that we do, or any time we play together, is basically to have a transcendent experience.”

Transcendent is a great word to describe their music. It is amazing the freshness they bring to songs written decades ago and recorded many, many times. It is a true example of creative collaboration. Hear for yourself.


Related Reading

Tierney Sutton: Not a Material Girl

Tierney Sutton Official Website

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 10, 2011 5:12 pm

    Great review, Kim, and so cool to find out that you’re a jazz lover! I, too, love Tierney Sutton. I’ve seen her live a couple of times in San Francisco, and had the great pleasure of taking a master class with her a few years ago, where I got to sing a song with her band and get her (excellent) feedback.

    Suffice it to say, that I think she’s pretty awesome too, and her band is incredibly tight.

    (BTW, it’s rare for a jazz (esp. vocal) band to be together so long; it’s a lot more common for the leader to assemble a band for each gig from their “A-list” of players. Yes, you play with the same guys a lot, but rarely ALL the time. How I’d LOVE a band of regular players like Tierney’s! Maybe in my next lifetime I’ll be a full-time jazz musician instead of a part-time everything. ;))

    • January 10, 2011 6:41 pm

      Thanks, Melissa. Being a jazz singer, I’m not surprised that you know of Tierney Sutton. How cool to hear of your personal experience with her band!

  2. January 10, 2011 8:37 pm

    Tierney Sutton’s music was a whole new experience today. Grew up with dad strumming the bass in his Navy jazz band, so I am more than familiar with the sounds I heard today…it was Tierney’s voice and style that blew me away. Thanks for the intro Kim.

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