Tierney Sutton: Cry Me a River


Cry Me a River


Tierney Sutton (vocals)


Desire (Telarc 83865)

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Tierney Sutton (vocals),

Christian Jacob (piano), Trey Henry (bass), Ray Brinker (drums)


Composed by Arthur Hamilton


Recorded: Burbank, September 3-5, 2008


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

I have been skeptical about Tierney Sutton in the past, accusing her of twisting her interpretations of standards so much that they no longer match the temperament of the lyrics. But she has made me a believer with her 2009 CD Desire. Here she tackles 11 songs of longing, and though she still deconstructs the tunes, she does so in ways that deepen, rather than falsify, their meaning. Her arrangement on "Cry Me a River" (as throughout the CD) is inspired. Sutton builds off a creative conflict between a fast 6/8 pulse (usually signaled by the bass, but sometimes moving to piano or drums) and a more open and uncluttered duple beat. Sutton's vocal floats over these rhythmic shifts, drawing energy from them yet keeping free from their gravitational pull. To her credit—to the whole band's credit—the song's mood is maintained throughout, and the clever arrangement never calls attention to itself, but rather supports an emotionally charged performance.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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