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All tracks are excellent, and the 'best of the best' begins with the sumptuous, swirling "Blue" and "Little Green", both featuring Tierney soaring in both scat and vocal modes, showing off that incredible Sutton vibrato, with great support from the Turtle Island Quartet. "All I Want" is Tierney splendidly singing over a bed of pizzicato strings and drums. The stark duo contrast of Tierney's voice and Larry Goldings' piano works great on "Court and Spark" and "Woodstock", as Tierney hums and vocalizes these marvelous lyrics. The Joni Mitchell, Charles Mingus opus "The Drycleaner from Des Moines" has Tierney effectively trading improvised notes with Hubert Laws' hip flute and Goldings' soulful B3 organ.Read more ›
Richard Thompson comes to mind when I think of Mitchell - he's far more under-appreciated as a songwriter but they have a lot in common, starting with impeccable taste, intelligence and writing the kind of music that very few people can offer interpretations of that add anything to the original songs. Judy Collins certainly did a credible job with "Both Sides Now," but it adds nothing to the original, in my opinion, but Tierney Sutton's efforts are in another league entirely. Clearly she's been living with these songs for a very long time, and despite being perhaps the greatest living jazz vocalist brings an attitude of utter humility to this project. As with all of her recordings, the arrangements are both daring and painstakingly wrought, and the accompanists chosen with the utmost care. This is a tribute recording that opens new dimensions of appreciation for the original songs, for Mitchell's trailblazing brilliance, and - last not least - makes me very happy to be alive at a time when Tierney Sutton can still be seen singing live!
To fully appreciate After Blue, I felt I needed a crash course in Joni Mitchell, so I listened to her famous albums Blue and Court and Spark beforehand. I was amazed that I hadn't paid more attention to Joni Mitchell's recordings. When I listened to After Blue a couple of days later, I was ready to appreciate just what a brilliant tribute project Tierney and her collaborators have put together. The arrangements are interesting, varied, and beautiful. Tierney's nuanced approach to Mitchell's music evidences a deep understanding and long familiarity with these tunes, which Tierney talks about in the liner notes. Some standout tracks, to me, include "Court and Spark," "The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines," "Little Green," and the stunning medley closer, "April in Paris/Free Man in Paris." The melding of the standard "April in Paris" and Mitchell's "Free Man in Paris" is simply ingenious and beautiful.
If you're a Tierney Sutton fan like me, this one is not to be missed. Highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
She has a lovely, sensitive voice that does Mitchell justice on this album. She tends toward slow sad arrangements, but they are often beautiful.Published 13 days ago by godotnut
It's a tall order to do Joni well without messing up or sounding like an out of your league lounge loony, But Ms Sutton is, like Joni, in a league of her own. Read morePublished 4 months ago by looksee
I feel as if I have spent the past last hour at The Cafe Carlyle: a bottle of wine, a loaf of bread and Tierney Sutton. Read morePublished 18 months ago by lidz
Tierney is one great interpreter of Joni Mitchell's intricate poetry. This is pure jazz.Published 18 months ago by Rusty Fox