Jacqui Sutton, Notes from the Frontier

by Constance Tucker

js notes from the frontierJacqui Sutton the true voice of Americana Jazz. Though she has coined the phrase Frontier Jazz, her sound blends the elements of the best of all traditional elements into an updated hip and soulful sound that blurs the lines of Americana, Bluegrass and Jazz for a delightful fashioned sound that one can’t help but immediately enjoy.

Her debut, offering Billie & Dolly (Toy Blue Typewriter, 2010) celebrated two opposing yet connected figures as both were pioneering women in their own genres.  A tribute to Dolly Parton and Billie Holiday certainly let the listener know that ordinary would never be Suttons approach. Now, with the release of Notes from the Frontier, this solidifies her path as a pioneer burgeoning a new sound that yes, has reminiscence but is truly her own brand.

A rootsy take on Gershwin’s “Summertime” takes the listener through a terrain of peaks and valleys musically, while vocally – Sutton uniquely ties a blend of dramatic Broadway attack, plucky rootsy grit and soulful straddles of jazz.  “Weary Angel” has a powerful longing with a jazzy flavor mixed with swampy seduction. “Lady of the Harbor” twangs with American life-force, laced with Celtic vibrations of flute, keyboard, melodion, trombone, cello, bass, percussion, banjo and guitar.

Each cut exemplifies Sutton’s varied palette for music.  Notes from the Frontier is an amalgam of American heritage, organic authenticity and the spirit of the heartland.  Sutton eloquently blends the truest forms of Broadway, Americana, Folk, Bluegrass and Jazz into a lasting embodiment of American essence, a path I hope she continues to follow.

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