Tierney Sutton Band offers serious jazz on a light note

Image by Alison Sher/TheDigitelImage by 20090524-sutton.jpg A taste of the night's music.

The buzz was the Tierney Sutton Band’s Friday night concert was one the best performances at the Cistern to date.

Get more coverage in our Spoleto special section. It was an ideal soon-to-be-summer Spoleto evening. We kicked back with a glass of wine and watched the Spanish moss and Tierney Sutton's amber hair blow in the breeze.

The quartet played an hour and a half set of soulful jazz. Numbers ranged from songs about Sugar Daddy’s to Patsy Cline covers to meditations on materialism. Sutton acted as both jazz singer and stand up comedian, taking breaks between each song to muse about life with the audience.

Sutton seemed possessed by the music. Her face fluctuated with each note, as she sultrily scatted alongside her band mates of 15 years -- who each expertly played the grand piano, drums and upright bass.

The final song was childhood favorite, “Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead.” But we knew musicians of such caliber couldn’t end with that. The band came back on the grassy mound for an encore. The song? A match up between Bach and Dizzy Gillespie’s “Con Alma” (With Soul). The music was so divine, in the middle of the show, a neighborhood dog barked in applause.

“I love that dog!” Sutton said, pointing somewhere in the direction of the canine.

The Tierney Sutton Band performs again tonight, May 23, at 9 p.m.