Sat April 22, 2023

Tierney Sutton 'The Paris Sessions Trio (USA/F)

Tierney Sutton: vocals
Serge Merlaud: guitar
Benoit Sourisse: piano

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Following widespread acclaim for her heartfelt homage to Joni Mitchell on 2013‘s Grammy-nominated After Blue, singer Tierney Sutton returns in the revealing setting of duos and trios on Paris Sessions. Called “devastatingly intimate” by her colleague Mark Summer, cellist and founder of the Turtle Island Quartet, this collection of romantic standards and three originals by French guitarist Serge Merlaud casts a spell from the dreamy opening track, “You Must Believe in Spring,” to the delicate closer, “Answer Me, My Love.”

Recorded in one creative burst on December 10, & 11 2012 at Val d’Orge Studio, Paris Sessions features Sutton’s soaring wordless vocals on three Merlaud compositions (“Ilm,” “Asma” and “Izzat”). Elsewhere, she brings her impeccable articulation and natural phrasing to the lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman (Michel Legrand’s “You Must Believe in Spring”), Lorenz Hart (Richard Rodgers’ “You’re Nearer”), Carl Sigman (Duke Ellington’s “All Too Soon”), Redd Evans and Arthur Kent (“Don’t Go To Strangers”) and Edward Heyman (Johnny Green’s “Body and Soul”) The intimate chemistry between singer, guitarist Merlaud and Tierney Sutton Band bassist Kevin Axt is maintained throughout. In the tradition of quiet classics like Frank Sinatra’s In the Wee Small Hours, John Coltrane’s Ballads and John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, Sutton’s 11th recording as a leader sets an alluring mood that carries through from beginning to end. “I wanted to just sing the song and do sweet, straightforward treatments,” says Sutton. “No bells and whistles, no crazy arrangements…just the essence and the mood of the songs. And I think something succeeded because if I’m in an agitated mood and I put this record on, it just centers me.”