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G. Edwards of “Gapplegate Music” Reviews “Notes from the Frontier”

G. Edwards | Gapplegate Music Reviews: “The latest one by Jacqui Sutton, vocalist extraordinaire, is a kind of giant leap forward into a realm of creative Americana … It’s a generally excellent selection of surprises that straddle jazz, roots, country and all kinds of American elements juxtaposed with rather extraordinary arrangements.”

“The latest one by Jacqui Sutton, vocalist extraordinaire, is a kind of giant leap forward into a realm of creative Americana. Notes from the Frontier (Toy Blue Typewriter 002) brings together Jacqui’s very fully enacted vocals with the unusual instrumentation and sonic mix of her Frontier Jazz Orchestra–including cello, banjo, electric bass, trumpet, trombone, percussion, piano, and so forth.

There are some Americana standards like Gershwin’s “Summertime,” and Ahbez’s “Nature Boy,” and unexpected things like a version of Brubeck’s “Blue Rondo a la Turk” paired with “Hummingbird,” and neglected obscurities that have definitive voicings–“Lady of the Harbor” very much comes to and stays in the mind. It’s a generally excellent selection of surprises that straddle jazz, roots, country and all kinds of American elements juxtaposed with rather extraordinary arrangements. And a vocal performance by Jacqui that does the same with the vocals that the arrangements do to the instrumental backdrop–she combines ways of singing that extend our heritage and make it very new.

It’s the opposite of a ho-hum standards “jazz vocalist” release. It’s vivid, exciting and very innovative in ways that may well get her some airplay and positive attention.

I am an enthusiast, anyway! G. Edwards (March 2013)

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