Sue Sheriff’s latest jazz album, released on April 18, 2016, has already solicited some great reviews.
Read this review of Sue’s new album, Better Than Anything, by C. Michael Bailey, Senior Contributor at AllAboutJazz.com
From the article: “As fine as Sheriff’s aptitude for ballads is, her grasp to the upbeat is better. While ballad singing has its own unique challenges, it is equally difficult to master the drama and dynamics to address the swinging pieces. The title piece and “Devil May Care,” provocative vehicles for Bob Dorough. Sheriff captures Dorough’s ebullience, magnifying it a mirthful spotlight. Sheriff slays to instrumental standards-cum-vocalese vehicles, Clifford Brown “Daahoud” and Miles Davis‘ “All Blues.” With those, Sue Sheriff shows she has arrived and is the new sheriff in jazz town.”
A fantastic review from Stacey Zering at The Journal of Roots Music, No Depression, says,
“Sue Sheriff’s melodious voice is so enchanting and fluid that it almost hypnotizes you. Her ability to render slow songs with such emotion and fast cuts with such glee makes her both versatile and unique. Sheriff’s distinct tone is both mellifluous and inviting. Her new album Better than Anythingshowcases her effortless lilts in classic jazz and ballads. It is a well-balanced collection with melancholic songs countered by upbeat ones, making listeners appreciate Sheriff’s ability to shift comfortably without losing her authenticity.
Her ability to render slow songs with such emotion and fast cuts with such glee makes her both versatile and unique. Sheriff’s distinct tone is both mellifluous and inviting.
“Can’t Get Out of This Mood” starts out slow before it turns upbeat à la ’50s jazz. “Can’t Get Out of This Mood” is all about experiencing something so good you know it can’t be real. Sheriff sings, “The thrill should’ve been all gone by today in the usual way,” with such dreaminess that you can almost tell that she’s smiling. But she also knows that these things don’t last so she makes the bold declaration: “heartbreak, here I come.” This song not only highlights Sheriff’s soothing voice but also her flawless low register.”
Read the rest of this review
This review, by legendary music biographer James Gavin, is another glowing approval:
“Sue Sheriff has been in love with jazz singing since childhood, but until recent years, fate had other plans for her. She has spent most of her life in New England, busy with a husband and children, a thriving real-estate practice, and later on, a successful foray into the writing and producing of children’s music. Decades passed, more or less serenely. Then, when she was sixty, breast cancer struck. ‘I decided it was time to follow my heart,’ she says.
She sings with a light, swinging feel, a conversational lilt, and a smile in her voice.
Since then, Sue has devoted much of her time to rediscovering and honing the art of singing jazz. She sought out the best possible guide: fellow New Englander Rebecca Parris, one of the form’s greatest living practitioners. This debut album, produced by Rebecca, makes it clear that Sue has gained a lot of expertise. She sings with a light, swinging feel, a conversational lilt, and a smile in her voice. Her splendid musicians give her an airy cushion. The repertoire is choice. Sue’s CD is reassuring proof that it is never too late to capture a dream.“
Another review, by noted jazz historian and journalist, Scott Yanow. Scott has authored 11 books, including: The Jazz Singers, Jazz On Film, and Jazz On Record 1917-76.
Read what he has to say about Better Than Anything:
“Sue Sheriff is a fine jazz singer based in the Northeast. Although she first started performing when she was six and had previously recorded a few children’s albums, Better than Anything is her first jazz album. After a lifetime of living and raising a family, she knew that it was time to follow her dream.
Mentored and inspired by Rebecca Parris (who is this CD’s producer), Ms. Sheriff sounds confident and joyful throughout the set. She has a very attractive voice, always sings in-tune, and swings well at every tempo. For this set of some of her favorite tunes, she is assisted by pianist Chris Taylor, bassist Peter Kontrimas, drummer Gene Roma, Bill Vint on tenor sax and flute and, on a couple songs, Mike Turk on harmonica.
All in all, this is an easily recommended debut from an impressive singer.
In addition to the fine singing and her close interplay with Vint (a major asset to the session) on several numbers, the repertoire is inspired. Among the dozen songs are several (“The Face That I Love,” Bill Evans’ “Remembering the Rain,” “Where Did The Summer Go,” “If You Went Away” and the Gerry Mulligan/Judy Holliday collaboration “The Lonely Night”) that are rarely performed. In addition, Ms. Sheriff sings Meredith D’ambrosia’s lyrics to the Clifford Brown classic “Daahoud” which is retitled “Beloved,” effortlessly essaying the intervals.
Among the other highpoints are Sue Sheriff’s heartfelt interpretation to “Turn Out The Stars,” her swinging renditions of “Can’t Get Out Of This Mood” and “Devil May Care” and her superior ballad singing on “If You Went Away.”
All in all, this is an easily recommended debut from an impressive singer.”