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Tierney Sutton: Something Cool (SACD)

Tierney Sutton’s Something Cool was recorded directly in DSD. Recording live-to-six-channel DSD is living on the edge, but producer Elaine Martone and engineer Michael Bishop pull it off, employing multichannel SACD technology in the service of acoustic verisimilitude. If you go from the multichannel track of “Route 66” to the two-channel SA track, for example, the sound field unmistakably flattens to the front. But Bishop takes more risks with the multichannel mix than Harley and Ross, even occasionally placing a small measure of Sutton’s voice into the rear channels, which creates the effect of moving her forward, further into the room. While Eden Atwood’s Waves possesses the luminous transparency and sense of “rightness” so characteristic of Joe Harley recordings, Something Cool makes the listener more aware of the engineer’s decisions. Still, the SACD, in its multichannel version, is a fascinating, interactive portrait of a jazz singer, one that would have been impossible to achieve with earlier technologies. Bishops’ approach is tailored to the open spontaneity of a jazz setting. As Sutton’s supple voice, with its exceptional range and control, flows across bar lines and teases with time, Bishop also must create in the moment.

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