As a seven-time Grammy nominee, jazz artist Tierney Sutton is more than qualified to be featured on this installment of THE COVERUP — a segment in which we feature a fresh take on a classic. Still, jazz is an underrated modality so we couldn’t help but share. Sutton’s latest project, The Sting Variations is an ode to Gordon Sumner, recorded with her longtime ensemble the Tierney Sutton Band. “The challenge was to uncover something about these songs that wasn’t obvious before,” says Sutton. “And I think we’ve done that.”
With their rendition of the legendary Police song “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” the Tierney Sutton Band showcase their mastery of improvisation and ability to push the boundaries of the jazz repertoire. Adding to their list of impressive accolades, the band also recently collaborated with Clint Eastwood to create the score for his new film Sully. Stream the bewitching cover below.
On any given night of the week in the DMV, there are myriad options for live music, which is why we’ve started the segment DC LIVE to call out our picks.
To kick off this edition we have the English musician Jah Wobble, who will be playing Rock & Roll Hotel with his band The Invaders Of The Heart September 23. Drawing on influences of dub, jazz and world music, John Wardle aka Jah Wobble has had a long and storied career. Originally known as the bass player for Public Limited Ltd (PiL), he later went on to fashion his own solo career, releasing his new album Everything Is No Thing with The Invaders this August. If you enjoy a good rhythm and blues section, listen to the single “Cosmic Blueprint” and check out his show at Rock & Roll this week.
Continuing the theme of rhythm and soul, Nick Waterhouse also has a show coming up at Rock & Roll Hotel on October 12. The LA-based musician is releasing his third album Never Twice (via Innovative Leisure) on September 30, which showcases his signature pastiche of R&B-rooted sounds. Calling upon some of his favorite artists to contribute to the record–Waterhouse solicited Jazz musician Bob Kenmotsu’s on the flute, Tom Waits and Elvis Costello collaborator Ralph Carney on sax, and Dr. Lonnie Smith protégé Will Blades on organ–amongst others. Waterhouse also collaborated with Grammy-nominated artist Leon Bridges on the track “Katchi,” which you can hear below. For a night of doo wop and neo-soul swag, be sure to come out for the show.
And finally, the band formerly known Viet Cong, recently rechristened as Preoccupations will also be playing Rock & Roll Hotel this October 16 (killing it with the bookings much R&R?). Working with Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck) on their new self-titled LP through Jagjaguwar, the post-punk Canadian group’s new album reflects their present state at the time of recording — one of flux within both their professional and personal lives. Listen below to the album’s opus, an amorphous 11-minute journey entitled “Memory” featuring Wolf Parade‘s Dan Boeckner on vocals.
We have a new installment of The Coverup for you today, a segment in which we feature a fresh take on a classic. This week, we wanted to showcase a modern recast of a jazz standard — Amy Syed‘s reworking of Billie Holiday‘s “You Go To My Head.” The ethereal cover, which also serves as the introduction to the unsigned singer-songwriter, is the first recording with musical collaborators Ali Thynne (MNEK) (drums) and Peter Lee (keys) — which will be included on the London trio’s forthcoming EP.
Maintaining the jazzy undertones of the original, Syed reimagines the song as a haunting blend of trip-hop and electronica. Speaking on the song selection, Syed says: “I heard the original of ‘You Go To My Head’ a few years ago, and it always stayed with me as some of the most beautiful lyrics I had ever heard. We wanted to see what would happen if we stripped away all the original music from an old classic, and rewrote the harmony and production from scratch.”
As a professionally trained jazz singer and backing vocalist, Syed also has experience supporting established acts such as Florence Welch and Bat For Lashes in the studio. And with influences ranging from Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald to Robyn and Daft Punk, it will be interesting to see what kind of original works she and her bandmates come up with for the EP. While you wait for its release, let this cover cast a spell on your ears as you listen below.
This past weekend our favorite Philadelphian funk-pop duo, Marian Hill released new song “Down” and it does not disappoint. More sparse than previous efforts, the cool new piano and jazz infused track appears to be a lyrical nod to The Exciters, replete with a glitchy interlude. Get down-diddy-down with this pop number below.
Today marks the release of a surprise album by none other than bass wizard Stephen Bruner, professionally known as Thundercat. The mini-LP, which was announced only a few days ago is entitled The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam and was released on Flying Lotus‘ label Brainfeeder. FlyLo actually co-produced the lead track “Them Changes,” which is a funky and jazz-infused jaunt about the crimson aftermath of a love gone wrong. The number also features notable jazz musician Kamasi Washington on sax. We can’t say enough good things about this one, so listen below and then head over to iTunes to purchase / hear the album in full.
New group based out of Philadelphia, Marian Hill have released sultry single, “One Time,” to accompany the announcement of their debut EP Play due out March 4. Similar to Wild Belle in style, the brassy duo incorporate blues and jazz elements along with the more modernistic, resulting in a cool and contemporary rhythmic feel.
Catch their first show if you’re in the Philly area at Boot & Saddle, February 25.
I have an affinity for any man who knows how to don feathers — and in this case that man is Stephen Bruner, the bassist/vocalist known as Thundercat. Co-written and co-produced by Flying Lotus, “Heartbreaks + Setbacks” is the first single off his new album Apocalypse, which comes out July 9th. The composition combines soulful lyrics with a sick bassline that “calls to mind the work of jazz greats like Charles Mingus and Jaco Pastorious, deftly weaving an intricate bass solo into a sonically dense synth-pop arrangement,” according to LiveForTheFunk. Check it out below.