Tierney Sutton possesses a smoky alto voice that retains its serene, sumptuous tone whether she's swinging hard or whispering intimately. Unlike many of her peers, this L.A.-based jazz singer boasts a full-bodied resonance even when she jumps on a note after a pause, and she sounds utterly at ease even when she leans on a syncopated accent. Her new album, "Something Cool," tackles 14 familiar standards, but her vocals are so controlled yet relaxed that these songs are worth hearing again.
After singing Bill Barnes's title track with a comfortable minimalism that epitomizes "cool," Sutton tackles three songs from "My Fair Lady." She transforms "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" into a finger-snapping blues; she turns "I've Grown Accustomed to His Face" into a ghostly lament with a wordless intro and coda, and she makes "Show Me" an Ella Fitzgerald-like scat vehicle. And she brings out the latent jazz potential in two Patsy Cline hits, "Walkin' After Midnight" and "Crazy."
-- Geoffrey Himes
Appearing Wednesday at Blues Alley. * To hear a free Sound Bite from Tierney Sutton, call Post-Haste at 202-334-9000 and press 8129. (Prince William residents, call 703-690-4110.)