The Sting Variations

In my last 10 years as a DJ host and broadcaster through Vermont Airwaves, I have been pleased by listening  to many interesting albums. Some of them by singer TIERNEY SUTTON and The Tierney Sutton Band.

I can mention AFTER BLUE,  in which she renders Tribute to the music of JONI MITCHELL,  sided by veterans, as singer Al Jarreau, drummer Peter Erskine, flutist Hubert Laws, B3 Organ master Larry Goldings, bassist Kevin Axt,  and The Turtle Island String Quartet

Just three days ago, the postman knocked me down with a new envelope containing THE STING VARIATIONS (BFM Jazz, 2016)  in which SUTTON and her regular bandmates celebrate the music of Gordon Mathew Summer,  better known as STING.

“The challenge was to uncover something about 14 of STING’S Songs, that wasn’t obvious before”, SUTTON says. And I humbly think they have done that.

Twelve Songs penned by STING  during his hey days with THE POLICE and after were arranged by bassist TREY HENRY, others by the whole unit. The album demonstrates her ability to push the boundaries of the JAZZ repertoire.

But this is not all, not a simple note about the new album, the other side of the coin is that THE TIERNEY SUTTON BAND are the animators of the soundtrack of the film SULLY – the last effort of renowned actor and film maker CLINT EASTWOOD.

It’s not a secret that EASTWOOD is a Jazz fan and supporter, many of us have learned this thru films like BIRDS – inspired by the life of alto saxophonist and Jazz icon CHARLIE PARKER.

EASTWOOD is also a longtime  fan of THE TIERNEY SUTTON BAND and casually called her to come to his studio and check all the Songs he had provisionally used from former albums in his new film SULLY featuring  actor TOM HANKS and based on the life and actions of pilot ……SULLIVAN. 

Pianist CHRISTIAN JACOB and SUTTON visited EASTWOOD and after watching the entire film received a new request; to complete the film soundtrack.

Two days after, the  whole TIERNEY SUTTON BAND was in the studio creating cues, to picture,  with new inputs  suggested by EASTWOOD every step of the way, while SUTTON also wrote lyrics for a Song that will support the final credits .

SULLY soundtrack also features cuts from THE STING VARIATIONS and both talented works of Art will be on sale  all over the US  on FRIDAY SEPTEMBER the 9th. 

Yesterday, SUNDAY September 4th, we presented THE STING VARIATIONS in my radio show THE CUBAN BRIDGE @  WWPV 92.5 FM “The Mike”  thru “Message in a bottle”, “Every breath you take” and Synchronicity”, and to support our comment,  STING on “Fragilidad” sung in Spanish and sided by the Buena Vista Social Club (Rhythms del Mundo, 2006) and the LA Guitar Quartet in their version of FRAGILE from the album LATIN (Telarc, 2002)   – a Grammy Nominee  release with the music of Piazzolla, Brouwer, Copland, Martin, Gismonti, Rodrigo and Biset.

When we get back to WWPV 92.5 FM  “The Mike” – it will be to revisit STING’s compositions with THE POLICE,  his American Jazz Quartet (Marsalis, Hakim. Kirkland, Jones) and some other Songs arranged by GEOFFREY KEEZER for singer DENISE DONATELLI. And of course, selections of AFTER BLUE in which SUTTON renders Tribute to her admired JONI MITCHELL.


Driving from Waitsfield, Vermont  to Upstate New York with photographer David Garten, he switched on the radio to the  show of MARIAN McPARTLAND, and there was Tierney presenting one of her albums in 2006.

Later on,   I found SUTTON as a guest of a Peruvian band in a Song named EL NORTE = THE NORTH, which I have repeated  many, many times in my radio shows since 2007.

Then we got in touch thru the magical links of Facebook, and I have  blessed with every new recording  collaboration.


Take a look at this short BIO, to learn more about SUTTON and her longtime ensemble. Taken from her web

Tierney Sutton (b. 1963) is a U.S. jazz singer.

Sutton was born on the 28th June 1963 in Omaha, Nebraska, and was educated at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut and the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

Sutton fronts the Tierney Sutton Band, featuring pianist Christian Jacob, bassists Trey Henry and Kevin Axt, and drummer Ray Brinker. The band is an incorporated unit and makes all musical as well business decisions together. They tour throughout the world, and have headlined in recent years at Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

For eleven years, Sutton taught in the Jazz Studies Department at the University of Southern California. In 2008,  she became the Vocal Department Chair at Los Angeles Music Academy in Pasadena, California.

Toni Basanta

DJ Host of The Cuban Bridge on the radio and on television

We can also communicate thru FB


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