John Peters | The Borderland: “Notes From The Frontier is an exceptionally inventive album, spreading its wings over several musical genres, but always rooted firmly in Jazz. Ms Sutton and her musicians offer a vision of jazz with deep roots in Americana. Highly recommended.”
The frontier in this instance is Jazz, and vocalist Jacqui Sutton and her Frontier Jazz Orchestra have taken the usual jazz framework and turned it inside out, bringing in rootsy bluegrass, country and blues elements along with a healthy bit of theatrical trickery to make Notes From The Frontier a unique listening experience. I think it fair to say that this album doesn’t sound like anything else you may find out there. Based in Texas and using Houston-based musicians, there is a sort of antique dustiness to these sounds – as if the music has been taken directly from old 78 rpm discs and re-performed ‘as is’.
This is strongly aided by Ms Sutton having a unique voice stretching several octaves and using it at times like a horn player for soloing and scatting. The twelve songs on the album are a mixture of little-known bluegrass tunes and classic jazz songs, sometimes mashed-up together to create something very different to their original sounds. The Frontier Jazz Orchestra is a pocket-sized one but with most musicians being multi-instrumentalists the sound is big and rich in variety.
NOTE: Scroll down quite a bit, or do a site search under “Jacqui Sutton”.