has the kind of voice that you can take for granted. After just a couple of tunes, you know you can relax -- she's not going to flub a note, she's not going to screech trying to reach beyond her range, she's not going to show off. That frees you up to sit back, close your eyes, and alternate between wonder at her pure technique and rapt enjoyment of her artistry. Sutton
's debut album is a program of standards (not to say potboilers): "The Song Is You," "My Heart Stood Still," "It Never Entered My Mind," like that. But even if you've heard all these songs a hundred times before, you'll still love this album. Not because she brings anything particularly surprising or revelatory to this repertoire, but because she sheds such a warm, sweet light on the songs that it's a pleasure to hear them again. Sometimes she surprises, as on the voice/bass duet arrangements of "In Love in Vain" and "My Heart Stood Still," which are two of this album's many highlights, or with startling scat excursions where you don't necessarily expect them. Other times she evokes Ella Fitzgerald
at her peak, as on her rendition of "Caravan." But she never disappoints.