Sutton to begin ‘Desire’ tour with MCG show Saturday
By ERIC SLAGLE
Daily News Staff Writer
Given the troubled state of Wall street, the banking industry and the personal finances of many individuals these days, the concept behind jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton’s newly released album “Desire” seems quite timely.
The Grammy-nominated artist compiled songs for the disk that offer varying takes on desire, from the relentless quest of material goods, to the unhealthy pursuit of human love and the reaching out for divine understanding.
Sutton will kick off a national tour in support of the release at Manchester Craftsman’s Guild Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $22 and $40 and are available by calling 412-322-0800.
Sutton says she hopes the songs on the CD illustrate how wanting something you can’t have can constitute a “spiritual obstacle course” on the path to finding contentment.
“The material world has a lot limitations. It’s supposed to teach us things but we’re not supposed to be as attached to it as we are,” Sutton said recently. “Attachment to a lover, fame or money are things that end in disillusionment. What we’re really looking for is our true selves, which is the same as finding God, in a way.”
A practitioner of the Bahá’í Faith, Sutton draws from the spiritual text of that religion, which emphasizes the spiritual unity of all mankind, and presents them in the opening track of the album, “It’s Only a Paper Moon.”
She said her band developed the arrangement for that song last June and it became the catalyst for the album. Other songs on the CD include “Long Daddy Green,” “Fever,” “Whatever Lola Wants” and “My Heart Belongs to Daddy.”
When she and her band of the past 16 years — pianist Christian Jacob, bassist Kevin Axt and drummer Ray Brinker — roll into town this weekend, Sutton said there will be no set song list till the night of the show. Though the audience can expect to hear songs from the new CD, she said that with a songbook that contains more than 100 arrangements and draws from material on eight albums, “There’s a real freedom in what we choose.”
Sutton was a semifinalist in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocal Competition in 1998 and made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Pops in February 2005.
In August 2005, Sutton released her first live album, “I’m with the Band,” recorded at Birdland in New York City. The album was nominated for a 2005 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album, as was the 2007 release, “On The Other Side.”
She also teaches at the University of Southern California and conducts master classes and workshops worldwide. Sutton said she and the band already are thinking about their next album. Though they have not developed a theme for that release yet, she said it will have one.
“Where it’s going to take us, I don’t know,” she said. Having already tackled concepts such as desire and happiness, she said, “We may just call the next CD ‘God.’”
For more information about Sutton, visit her Web site at www.tierneysutton.com.
This article appeared in The Daily News on March 13.