By Esther Callens
Honoring giants who have made a great contribution in the entertainment industry is common place. But very few lack the audacity to do this if it entails stepping out of your element. Tierney Sutton is a rare exception to the rule. Her latest, After Blues, pays proper tribute to award winning folk/pop singer Joni Mitchell. Presenting an outstanding collection of some of Mitchell’s great hits, After Blues grants an excellent experience.
Although Sutton is an avid fan of Joni Mitchell, she would not record any of her songs. In After Blues’ liner notes, Sutton states, “I knew that Mitchell’s music was not something that I could glance at and then perform. I had to live with it for years. Like her fans who had absorbed the music in their youth, I wanted to “marinate” in Joni Mitchell.” Years later, Sutton knew it was time to record this amazing collective because she felt it.
Sutton lively revisits “Big Yellow Taxi” with bopping percussions accompanying. It is simply great. Al Jarreau and Sutton give a mellow, melodious, jazzy take on “Be Cool” that includes just enough funk to dance with. I must admit Larry Goldings really takes off on the Hammond B3 organ on this track – he is smoking! Sutton’s impeccable vocals on “Answer Me, My Love” exquisitely captures and conveys the temperament of this incomparable masterpiece. Tierney Sutton has superbly captured the beauty and essence of Joni Mitchell with After Blue.
Hubert Laws, Al Jarreau, Larry Goldings, Peter Erskine, Mark Summer, Ralph Humphrey, Serge Merlaud, Kevin Axt and the Turtle Island Quartet join Sutton on the venture.
Track listing includes: Blue, All I Want, Court and Spark, Don’t go to Strangers, The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines, Big Yellow Taxi, Woodstock, Little Green, Be Cool, Answer Me, My Love, Both sides Now and April in Paris/Free Man in Paris.
Tierney Sutton is a five time Grammy nominated jazz singer who has performed with numerous talents. After Blue is a BFM Jazz release.