Gorgeous. Drop dead in your tracks gorgeous. For those of us who have been hanging on to her skirt hem for some time now, the release of a new Tierney Sutton album is the most eagerly awaited musical event of the year. And she has yet to disappoint. This is, of course, a theme album, as were Unsung Heroes and Blue in Green before it. Did Frank Sinatra do theme albums? Of course he did, any number of them. Listen to September of My Years, there isn't a swinging note on the entire album, and yet it works. So does Dancing in the Dark.
As another reviewer noted, this is not just about the girl singer. Call it the Tierney Sutton Band, or Tierney Sutton with the Christian Jacob Trio, whatever, this group of four musicians is one of the most innovative and exiting things to happen to jazz in a long, long time. You can't listen to Tierney sing without being aware of what is going on behind her. This album is emotionally deep and mood evoking, and yet sounds fresh and uplifting at the same time.
The New Yorker Magazine, in noting that Tierney was appearing at a club in the city, made mention of this album with the caveat that vocalists take on Frank Sinatra at some risk. All great vocalists take risks, and Tierney is a great vocalist. She sings much of this album in the lowest register of her voice. No pyrotechnics here, she is quite capable of them, but has no need of them on this album. In keeping with the mood, she does do Where or When and Fly Me To The Moon at a somewhat slower tempo than Frank did, in fact he could swing both numbers. No matter. Her voice washes over you, and if you are not moved, to either tears or smiles, than you need someone to chisel the stone off your heart. Dancing in the Dark is, for now, Tierney's signature album, but you get the feeling it will remain so only until the next album is released. She is deeply addictive, but this is one addiction that will never hurt you.