She lives and performs in Omaha these days, but I think many of us in the rest of the world will want Susie Thorne to get out more. She's a very cool and captivating singer who is able to bring a refreshingly original sensibility to songs of various stripes. Playful and creative with melodies and shifting rhythms, and very capable at scat-singing, she's very much a jazz vocalist with solid jazz musicians just as ready to experiment.
Her sound grabbed me right away: it is youthful and energetic, pure and sweet in higher tones, with a moody or salty quality at times in her lower register. Susie can really swing confidently and easily. Same goes for the band members: pianist Christine Hitt (full of interesting touches and mini-side trips)and bass player Tom Kennedy (of the Dave Weckl group) are also the coproducers.
The other very able players are drummer Miles Vandiver, and two more who each play on six of the eleven tracks: guitarist Rick Haydon and sax player Jason Swagger. When the tempo relaxes, Susie shows a more sensitive side: the Ellington elegance of "In a Sentimental Mood" reveals more emotions without risking being overly sentimental. Dreamy moods are created when she drifts through "Moon River," relishing the Johnny Mercer words and adding twists and turns to the Henry Mancini melody. If you're assuming that the title means she sings both Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies" and the title song of the musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, well, yes and no. Yes on "Blue Skies," an especially catchy version. I guess the "clear day" is an extension of that song's feel and the album design. (As it turns out, she has an earlier album, Love for Sale, that includes "On a Clear Day.") .
This is not a borderline "jazz influenced" vocalist or a straightforward balladeer who happens to be accompanied by some jazz players - she's the real thing. I look forward to more from this singer-
Rob Lester, New York
“I’m listening now and I have to say you swing right from the first
note. I dig that!”
~Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services, New York
I would like to talk about a new record from Susie Thorne. Her new album is called “Blue Skies, Clear Day”.
Neal and I are bombarded with vocalists and it’s rare that we get one a week who is outstanding. Over this past week I heard two; one was the record Neil reviewed last week, and this week, it’s Susie Thorne.
I love so much about this woman, her total musicality, her tone, the way she plays with meter and melody. Her excellent choice of musicians, none of which we’ve heard of except for Christine Hitt, a piano player from St. Louis – and Susie herself is from the middle of Nebraska which is about as middle-America as you can get. She is that new kind of singer, and by new, I mean the last 10 or so years. Singers whose distinction comes from their warbling vibrato – Norah Jones, even Karrin Allyson, our friend Jenna Mammina and Jackie Allen. But Susie has a soulfulness to her music as if she’s been listening not only to Billie Holiday and June Christy, but also Erykah Badu and Chaka Kahn – not to mention – Ella. Listen to how she plays with the bridge of Blue Skies that leads to a magnificent scat solo….(plays song).
That’s Blue Skies from Susie Thorne, her album called “Blue Skies, Clear Day”. Usually with all the new singers, a big problem for me besides them staying in tune, is lackluster arrangements – and I looked at this record filled with standards like Old Devil Moon, Night & Day, Autumn Leaves, Detour Ahead and no arranger listed, I thought this was another case. But this woman breathes LIFE into ALL of these songs. The most modern standard is the Beatle’s “Can’t Buy Me Love” and like all the other standards – she does breath life into all of them. For instance, she adds a scintillating backbeat to the ballad “Moon River”; she takes a tune like “Crazy” which is usually done slow, and she does it in a finger-popping straight ahead pace. I love the fullness of her voice – and did I mention she’s a terrific scat singer?
(Neal) You did mention that!
(Mark) Yeah – hear it again – this is “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To” (plays song).
That’s Susie Thorne – “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To”. What a scat singer – scatting like a horn – you can just see her playing air-trombone and kudos to the engineers too – what a pristine recording. From Susie Thorne, “Blue Skies, Clear Day”. It’s on the Effie
"The Thorne album arrived ….. It's on my program today. Loved "No Moon at All"
Rusty Rush, KAMU-FM Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
“It's been a rare pleasure to listen and to promote your voice.”
~Bruno Pollacci, AnimaJazz - PISA – ITALY
“Heard her song on the radio (in French) "Autumn Leaves" and was blown away by the emotion passed through her voice.”
~Listener - Santa Rosa, California
“I'm very confident that I've heard, in my humble opinion, one of the 5 best jazz CD's of 2006. It will be part of my next broadcast, this coming Sunday, November 12, at 6 pm central time. At the beginning of the New Year, I will feature a broadcast on the best jazz releases of the past year, and this one will surely be in that company!”
~Albert Pride, www.blazeradio.org, Birmingham, Alabama
"What a specific, clear and fine voice this lady has! Sounds a bit like a Young Rita Reys (Greatest Dutch Jazz Diva...), and also love musician. ….really a class-CD…..my compliments..... "
~ Joost van Steen - "Jazz & Blues Tour" The Netherlands
"I just reviewed this CD today. I love it. The band plays in a classic style, yet Thorne has a unique voice and style. Her tone reminds me of Aretha Franklin as much as any jazz vocalist."
~ Lester French - Jazz Director - WMEB 91.9 FM - Orono, ME
Nominated for “Best Female Jazz Vocalist 2007” – AGAPE INDIE AWARDS – UK
~Jazz Syndicate Radio – United Kingdom
“I love so much about this woman; her total musicality, her tone, the way she plays with meter and melody…
....this woman breathes LIFE into all the standards..... “
Mark Ruffin~ Listen Here Radio – Chicago, IL
"I’m listening now and I have to say you swing right from the first note. I dig that!"
Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services, New York