Jazz and Country? Billie Holiday and Dolly Parton music in the same CD? Seems like an odd combination. Billie and Dolly is the tittle of Jacqui Sutton new album, but in reality just two songs are from Lady Day and the Queen of Country, God Bless the Child and Endless stream of tears. The rest of the album is a unique fusion of Jazz and Bluegrass.
Its known that musicians like Bela Fleck has been doing something similar, but it is the first time I hear a singer trying this fusion in a whole album. And the results are pretty good, Jacqui is a singer with good vocal range and a distinctive style. Jacqui cited both Dolly Parton and Billie Holiday as two major influences on her, and you can hear both on Jacqui voice, mixing the blues and swing of jazz and the yodeling of bluegrass in songs like God bless the child and The moon is made of gold.
The use of the banjo and cello accentuate that bluegrass, country feeling in songs like Memories of you, Keeper of your love and Mississipi Song. Pianist/trombonist/composer/singer Henry Darragh did the arrangements for all the songs on this album and also played piano and trombone.