Suttenfield and Romano may have turned out the best vocal release for 2014.
Brent Black / www.critialjazz.com
So Lady Gaga makes the cover of DownBeat and vocal artists like Kelley Suttenfield continue to languish is relative obscurity. Nice to see the cultural dumbing down of America is continuing unimpeded. Critically acclaimed vocalist Kelley Suttenfield is releasing an intimate portrait of a unique selection of songs ranging from Neil Young's "Harvest Moon" to the standard "People Will Say We're In Love" from Rodgers and Hammerstein. Toss in some K.D. Lang and Bob Dylan and while the release would seem to fall apart on paper, the meticulous choice of just the right tune with accompanying arrangement and you have a fresh collection of standards that should be considered one of the finest vocal releases of the year.
The precise and ever fluid nylon string work of Tony Romano adds a second lyrical voice. Among The Stars is a melodic conversation between friends, a textured harmonic collective that shines brightest on numbers such as "One Fine Day" from Carol King and "Fly Me To The Moon." Minimalist arrangements without becoming deconstructed to the point the original integrity is lost is a key selling point. Suttenfield posses pristine vocals and the rare innate ability to play catch and release while embracing his lyric. Romano provides the necessary color palette to push these arrangements to the next level.
Very close to perfect in every way.
Tracks: Fly Me To The Moon; Harvest Moon; Beautiful Love; Wash Me Clean; Just Say I Love Him; One Fine Day; Try Your Wings; People Will Say We're In Love; Until It's Time For You To Go; I'll Be Your Baby Tonight.