Kelley Suttenfield
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Kelley Suttenfield

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
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"Kelley Suttenfield – Where Is Love (Rhombus), Released – November 3, 2009"

"Smoky, sultry fumes emanate from Kelley Suttenfield’s vocals like liquid fire. Here’s a gal who puts her entire being into the songs cradling the lyrics in her vocals and stoking the embers in the verses with a velvety touch. Her latest CD Where Is Love?, a question which many people are on the search to find the answer to, is Suttenfield’s debut record as a solo artist. Performing an array of cover tunes with a torchlight glisten including Stanley Turpentine’s “Sugar,” Betty Carter’s “Open The Door,” and Henry Mancini’s “Charade,” Suttenfield encourages the listener to delve into an imaginary sanctuary filled with tender arias and angelic hues.

Her rendition of John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s timeless classic “And I Love Her” injects a tint of hope in the lamenting verses of the original as Michael Cabe’s soft, twinkling piano keys offer a stratum of support to Suttenfield’s wispy strokes. The album picks up with a jolt of slinky blues-funk in the sultry-infested grooves of Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode To Billy Joe,” then descends to a soft simmer in the Latin-tinged aria of “Coracao Vagabundo” written by Caetano Veloso. As strongly as Suttenfield’s register recalls of classic beauties like Dinah Washington and Nancy Wilson, she has a style that is all her own demonstrating a flare for swing jazz with modern trimmings in “Open The Door.” Her timbres are effective without being overtly dramatic or exaggerated. She has a pitch that enables the listener to sit back and enjoy the inner calm which her singing produces. The wavy motions which she creates in her vocal melodies are soothing and complement the gentle esthetics of the music.

The middle eastern shading of Eden Ahbez’s “Nature Boy” exudes an earthy feel in Suttenfield’s register complemented by the exotic accents of the tabla played by her drummer Brian Adler. The track steps away slightly from the overall soft bop complexion of the album but makes for a beautiful reprieve and a gorgeous duet between the tabla and piano musings. Suttenfield jumps back into the pool of cool barroom-inspired bop in Wes Montgomery’s “West Coast Blues,” and shines radiantly along the balladry buds of Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn’s “I Fall In Love Too Easily.”

Kelley Suttenfield’s album speaks to those whose hearts beckon for romance and minds have a tendency to be swept away by the touch of ecstasy. Her timbres have an earthy hue which keeps her feet firmly planted on the ground while her vocals call out to the pleasure that dreams induce. Her album bottles ecstasy in its most natural form and shares it openly with the listener."

- Susan Frances - JazzTimes


"Kelley Suttenfield Where is Love?"

"Here’s a singer with a lot of great ideas, and the ability to deliver them. It’s her debut disc, and the closest thing I can compare it to is Madeleine Peyroux’s debut Dreamland, way back when. It’s got the same feel...Give me more!" - JazzWeekly


"Smoky, Intensely Musical New Jazz Artist"

"Kelley Suttenfield is a jazz vocalist unafraid to breakdown a few barriers. Coming to this first CD - WHERE IS LOVE? - with a strong background in theater arts as well as classical piano and more, Kelley easily takes to the jazz field with an intense musicality that serves her well in every song in this collection. She feels right at home with the relaxed, effortless production of a dusky soprano that explores the lyrics of her songs, bringing more to the words than most stylists. This is mirrored in the excellent backup of musicians who provide unusually sophisticated backdrops for each song: Michael Cabe piano and Fender Rhodes, Jesse Lewis electric guitar, Tony Romano acoustic guitar, Matt Aronoff bass, and Brian Adler drums and tablas. Nowhere is their contribution more evident than on the extended version of 'Nature Boy'.

Another aspect of Kelley Suttenfield's style that makes her unique (in addition to her phrasing and her exactly tune scat) is her decision to use the lyrics as written. Example, 'And I love Her', and 'Open the Door': she leaves the door open as to the receiver of her tender longings - female or male - and that is so warmly refreshing. But in addition to all of the aspects that make her an artist to notice on her first album, simply melt away with her duet with Michael Cabe's piano in her soulful 'I Fall in Love Too Easily.' Or join her and her fellow musicians in a one of the best versions of 'Ode to Billy Joe' ever recorded.

The quality of recording is superb with a clarity too rarely heard these days on soft jazz CDs. Kelley Suttenfield has arrived! Welcome to a hungry audience."

- Grady Harp, Amazon Top 10 Reviewer - Amazon Top Ten


"Kelley Suttenfield..Where Is Love?..Rhombus Records 2009"

"Kelley Suttenfield has a very cool and sensual vocal style. The opening number 'Sugar' displays her talents to the max. She treats the lyrics as though she owns them. A swinging quality is apparent in this number as Suttenfield takes the circuitous journey from tender to strong ideation. 'West Coast Blues' is as hip as it gets, Suttenfield is on this tune like she means every word in the lyrics and that is the secret of getting a tune off the ground and into orbit. Add a bit of nice scatting and you have the makings of a very fine jazz number sung by a very fine jazz singer. 'I Fall In Love Too Easily.' This song will melt your heart and go straight to your soul. Suttenfield lays it on the line and leaves nothing to the imagination as she balladizes with the best of them.

A nice band and a superb singer make this recording a worthwhile addition to any jazzophiles collection. 5 stars."

- eJazznews.com


"REVIEW: Kelley Suttenfield’s “Where Is Love?”"

Schnazzing it up is what jazz singers love to do, whether it’s for their own music or for the songs they choose to cover. Kelley Suttenfield is a schnazzer but a good schnazzer, and what I mean is she likes to cuddle the songs with her own groove, but still being subtle enough to where she doesn’t take it overboard into loon land. Where Is Love? (Rhombus) is an album by someone who loves to sing, loves the song she sings, and has the willingness to share her talents with the world.

The songs are well chosen, with songs like Eden Ahbez’s “Nature Boy”, Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode To Billy Joe”, and The Beatles‘ “And I Love Her” being a part of the album’s repertoire. Her take of “Twilight Time”, made famous by The Platters, may be the song that takes her out of jazz circles and into a broader audience, as it has a touch that could uplift her to bigger levels of success. That’s not to say the other material is less worthy, but “Twilight Time” is an R&B and rock’n'roll standard that she brings into her own scope, and it’s a perfect marriage of someone with a soothing voice and sentiment. The bond is… I wanted to say incredible but a word like that tends to bring expectations. I say just listen and tell me you don’t hear the perfect marriage of something effectively working.

- This is Books Music


"Additional Reviews..."

For more reviews, please visit: www.kelleysuttenfield.com/reviews.html - Kelley Suttenfield


"Kelley Suttenfield – Where Is Love (Rhombus), Released – November 3, 2009"

Mellow, warm and inviting, Kelley Suttenfield’s “Where Is Love” is an outstanding debut from this New York-based singer.

It’s an eclectic mix of selections on this offering – from a funky “Ode to Billy Joe,” through an Indian (Eastern) rendition of the jazz classic “Nature Boy,” to a very standard rendition of Mancini/Mercer’s “Charade.”

Worth mentioning is the backing quintet – especially the guitar work of Jesse Lewis, who I swore was playing a sitar alongside a recorded tamboura.

And while I might have preferred a suite of songs that hangs together a little more cohesively, there’s really not a clunker in the bunch. Ms. Suttenfield demonstrates not only great range in her vocal stylings, but also in the emotional buttons to hit in order to make all these varied pieces work.

Ms. Suttenfield is worth watching, and decidedly worth listening to. This first recording from her is highly recommended.

- Doug Boynton - girlsingers.org


"Kelley Suttenfield – Where Is Love (Rhombus), Released – November 3, 2009"

Mellow, warm and inviting, Kelley Suttenfield’s “Where Is Love” is an outstanding debut from this New York-based singer.

It’s an eclectic mix of selections on this offering – from a funky “Ode to Billy Joe,” through an Indian (Eastern) rendition of the jazz classic “Nature Boy,” to a very standard rendition of Mancini/Mercer’s “Charade.”

Worth mentioning is the backing quintet – especially the guitar work of Jesse Lewis, who I swore was playing a sitar alongside a recorded tamboura.

And while I might have preferred a suite of songs that hangs together a little more cohesively, there’s really not a clunker in the bunch. Ms. Suttenfield demonstrates not only great range in her vocal stylings, but also in the emotional buttons to hit in order to make all these varied pieces work.

Ms. Suttenfield is worth watching, and decidedly worth listening to. This first recording from her is highly recommended.

- Doug Boynton - girlsingers.org


Discography

Where Is Love (2009) Rhombus Records

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Bio

Kelley Suttenfield is an acoustic jazz vocalist whose lush resonance and graceful approach have captivated fans and critics alike. In the words of writer Carol Banks Weber (AXS.com), she “breathes her own loving, sensitive and reverent persona into every lyric.”

Kelley’s debut CD “Where Is Love?” (Rhombus Records 2009) was released to critical acclaim and established Kelley as what George W. Harris of JazzWeekly.com described as “a singer with a lot of great ideas and the ability to deliver them.” The 12-track recording, an eclectic collection of jazz standards and pop songs, showcases Kelley’s sublime vocal finesse, as well as her innate sensitivity to the lyric. Her second CD “Among The Stars” (Self Produced), a quiet collection of standards and singer-songwriter classics, was released in September 2014 and is already generating widespread attention. Bruce Crowther of JazzMostly.com writes: “A warm, sensual and distinctive vocal sound marks Kelley Suttenfield as someone rather special in the somewhat overcrowded arena in which today’s jazz singers must perform.”

Kelley performs extensively in New York City and along the East Coast. She has headlined at notable venues such as The Iridium and Jazz at Kitano in New York City and appeared at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London. She has performed at numerous venues throughout Europe and was once a featured guest with the Great Danes Big Band as part of the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. Kelley was also a former finalist in the annual NYC Jazzmobile Vocal Jazz Competition.

Future plans include tours on the West Coast and Europe and a return to the studio for another recording with her band. CD purchase details, schedule updates and other information can be found at: www.kelleysuttenfield.com.


Band Members