Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Kelley Suttenfield, Tony Romano, Among the Stars

Simple ideas can end up simply gorgeous or just simple-minded, depending on many things, in terms of music on artistry and the spirit of the time the music was made, the chemistry of the moment.

Among the Stars (self-released), the album by Kelley Suttenfield and Tony Romano, starts with a very simple idea. Start with a choice grouping of standards. Take a vocalist and a guitarist. Make music.

Believe me I've heard such simple things go down the rapids because things were not right. That is definitely not the case here. Kelley is the right vocalist for this. She has a beautifully straightforward voice, an unpretentious delivery that nonetheless has an interpretive jazz knack. And then Tony Romano on acoustic or semi-hollow guitar. He gives out with some very beautiful accompaniment, picked and harmonically strong, but also with just the right patterns and note choices. He understates, as does Kelley. But they do so with excellent instincts. And then they come out with something, like "Beautiful Love," that swings and implies as much as it overtly states.

The arrangements have beauty and the playing and singing are completely surrendered to the mood of the song. It's music for reflection, for the quiet times after all the hustle of life. Kelley is a real artist. Tony is a real artist.


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