"Our pianist Christian Jacob once said, 'An arrangement should serve the whole of the song.' " Sutton explains. "You have a theme, and you want to honor this theme, and then there's the story and the history. But sometimes there's an undercurrent of the song that hasn't been addressed. 'Whatever Lola Wants' is a song about the Devil stealing your soul! So for us to do this really dark, brooding arrangement in 5/4 is not being weird for the sake of being weird. There's something in that concept that suits the story, that I can stand inside of as a storyteller."

It helps that she has a sumptuous instrument - even fuller and more robust than on the first album - that she controls beautifully, even in her delicate use of vibrato. And Jacob is a brilliant improviser as well as accompanist. Although they were at Berklee at the same time in the early '90s, they didn't start working together until they both found themselves in LA. The line-up is rounded out by bassists Trey Henry and Kevin Axt - only one of whom usually tours - and drummer Ray Brinker. The arrangements never warp the tunes - they merely make them sound as if you were hearing them for the first time.

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  | 
Related: Up in the County, John Harbison plus 10, Pluck and determination, More more >
  Topics: Jazz , Missouri, Tierney Sutton, Brian O'Neill,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious

 See all articles by: JON GARELICK