Jacqui Sutton’s “Billie & Dolly” is reviewed by Improvijazzation Nation

Jacqui Sutton – BILLIE & DOLLY:

Jacqui’s vocals are among the best I’ve listened to (yet) in 2011. She opens the CD with a wonderfully laid-back rendition of “God Bless The Child“… “pleasant” is the keyword, to be sure. The banjo integrations on “Black Hole” will suck your ears right into the groovy vortex she creates with her vocals… recording is excellent quality through & through! You’ll definitely think you’re down in Cajun-town as you listen to the swamp groovin’ on “Those Memories of You“. There’s a heavy swing feel, & definite sweet jazz snatches competing for your aural attention, but it can’t be “classified” in any way shape or form.

It’s for that reason (as well as some fantastic arrangements from Henry Darragh) that I give Jacqui’s debut CD my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating. “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is 4.96, & when you add in the “FQ” (that’s“funquotient),thisonecan’tbebeat! Getmoreinformationat https://jacquisutton.com/

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The Borderland Music Watch: Jacqui Sutton – “Billie & Dolly”

I think it’s easy enough to work out who the Billy & Dolly are in the album title – and even easier if you look at the digipack cover. Jazz and country aren’t the easiest cohabits in the musical spectrum. Apart from the Western Swing bands such as Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys and many more of that ilk who toured and ripped up the South-western states of the USA back in the 40s and 50s, I haven’t heard much country in jazz since then. So this rather strange hybrid by vocalist Jacqui Sutton and The Frontier Jazz Orchestra makes for an intriguing listen. Inspired by the songs of Billie Holiday and Dolly Parton, the eleven tracks here tend to veer more towards the jazz with just a few country-typical instruments added. I have to say that the orchestra are very good, folding their sound around the voice of Ms Sutton like a velvet glove. Most of the songs tend towards the jazz songbook, with only one Parton song, Endless Stream of Tears, and a couple of bluegrass originals to hold the country end up. Overall the sound is quite sophisticated and the sound of the South seem to represent the Country element. I may be missing the point of this exercise but Ms Sutton sings mostly in a high register which is near soprano and most of the songs sound like they should be sung in a lower register, more in the style of Ms Holiday. Perhaps being a Brit is colouring my responses to this album, it sounds like neither fish nor fowl. Even after several plays I am still unsure of what to make of this album, and that is unusual for me. There doesn’t seem to be any direct web address for Ms Sutton so you may like to see if there are any sample tracks available from the URL listed below.

For more information about this artist, album and availability visit: www.karigaffney.com

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Jazz & Bossa CD Review: Jacqui Sutton – “Billie & Dolly”

Jazz and Country? Billie Holiday and Dolly Parton music in the same CD? Seems like an odd combination. Billie and Dolly is the tittle of Jacqui Sutton new album, but in reality just two songs are from Lady Day and the Queen of Country, God Bless the Child and Endless stream of tears. The rest of the album is a unique fusion of Jazz and Bluegrass.

I know that musicians like Bela Fleck has been doing something similar, but it is the first time I hear a singer trying this fusion in a whole album. And the results are pretty good, Jacqui is a singer with good vocal range and a distinctive style. Jacqui cites both Dolly Parton and Billie Holiday as two major influences on her, and you can hear both on Jacqui voice, mixing the blues and swing of jazz and the yodeling of bluegrass in songs like God bless the child and The moon is made of gold.

The use of the banjo and cello accentuate that bluegrass, country feeling in songs like Memories of you, Keeper of your love and Mississipi Song. Pianist/trombonist/composer/singer Henry Darragh did the arrangements for all the songs on this album and also played piano and trombone.

Tracks: God bless the child, Black Hole, Lazy Afternoon, Keeper of your Love, Those memories of you, My man’s gone now, Risk, The moon is made of gold, Mississipi Song, A sleepin’ Bee, Endless stream of tears

Artist’s Website: https://www.jacquisutton.com Reviewed by : Wilbert Sostre


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“Houston Music’s” Andrew Dansby Says Jacqui Sutton Combines Jazz with Bluegrass

That Jacqui Sutton titled her new album Billie and Dolly says much about the type of music she’s making. More than a nominal tip to two different music legends, the album’s title speaks to Sutton’s efforts to forge some new sort of American music from elements that are wonderfully compatible despite disparity in their roots.

“I feel like I’ve always listened to both Billie Holiday and Dolly Parton,” Sutton says. “They’ve always been in my ear. I not only appreciate them as stylists in those two genres, but because they were such amazing entertainers. About 10 years ago, I wondered if I could make them work together.”

A native of Rochester, N.Y., Sutton got her start singing vocal jazz in her early 20s in San Francisco. She took a different route, working for several years in theater in New York before returning to singing. Three years ago, Sutton’s husband began pursuing a creative writing Ph.D at the University of Houston, and local keyboardist Henry Darragh helped her assemble a band in Houston to execute her vision for an inclusive sort of American song she calls New Frontier Music, an earthy and rootsy jazz.

“It’s really all about what I respond to,” she says. “But it takes these great musicians to pull it off. They’re jazz musicians who don’t have a funky attitude about bluegrass or classical music. They understood it could work, and they put their hearts into it.”

Sutton hopes to record another album next year called American Anthem that further develops themes of inclusivity. “I’m hoping to touch on what it means to be American and what American music is. And to be a reminder that we’re a nation of immigrants.”

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