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Sitting In: Songs of the Silver Screen Playlist with the Tierney Sutton Band - JAZZIZ magazine

by Brian Zimmerman

Vocalist Tierney Sutton is a master of jazz storytelling known for her ability to use her voice as an instrument. For the past two decades, she has led an eight-time Grammy-nominated ensemble, the Tierney Sutton Band, that has become a regular mainstay on the top spots of the U.S. jazz charts. Her latest ambitious project with her band is a celebration of the first century of American cinema and its music.

ScreenPlay (BFM Jazz) is a collection of 19-tracks featuring Sutton alongside pianist Christian Jacob, bassists Kevin Axt and Trey Henry, and drummer Ray Brinker, which will be released in five different “Acts” in the form of digital EPs comprising 3 to 5 songs and accompanied by a podcast plus other behind-the-scenes material. The first of these “Acts” is titled The Bergman Suite; subsequent Acts are Technicolor, Golden Age, Montage, and The Sully Variations – the latter featuring music the Tierney Sutton Band created for Clint Eastwood’s award-winning film Sully (2016).

Act 1: The Bergman Suite, released on February 22, pays homage to the works of Alan and Marilyn Bergman, who surely stand as two of the most influential lyricists of all time. Married since 1958, the Bergmans have written unforgettable lyrics for numerous television shows, stage musicals and, of course, movies. They have also won two Academy Awards for Best Original Song and have been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. On The Bergman Suite, the Tierney Sutton Band breathes new life into five of their classic songs: “The Windmills of Your Mind,” “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?,” “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?,” “It Might Be You,” and “Ev’ry Now and Then.”

To mark the release of the first of the ScreenPlay EPs, and ahead of that of Act 2: Technicolor later this month, we asked Sutton to share with us a playlist of some of her favorite tunes from American cinema’s history. This 10-list track goes from Irving Berlin’s delightfully unforgettable “Cheek to Cheek,” which was featured on the glamorous Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movie Top Hat (1935) from the golden age of Hollywood musicals, to Richard Strauss’ epic tone poem “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” that plays over the most indelible images of Stanley Kubrick’s iconic and groundbreaking 2001: A Space Odyssey(1968). Also on the playlist, songs from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), West Side Story (1961) and more.

Want to hear what Sutton’s musical ode to cinema sounds like in person? Those in the New York area are in luck. Tierney Sutton will be appearing in New York at The Café Carlyle March 19-23, performing the songs of Alan and Marilyn Bergman.


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