Song Premiere: Sean Sullivan - Ready


| 1/14/2014 1:11:00 PM


sean sullivan

Jazz singer/songwriter/guitarist Sean Sullivan showcases his ability to infuse Americana, folk, and blues into his signature Latin jazz sound on his new song "Ready," which Utne Reader is proud to premiere. "Ready" is a cut off his new album, Hereafter, which is out January 21 on SonyRed. 

Sullivan is a New York City jazz scene-staple who was mentored by iconic jazz singer/lyricist Jon Hendricks. Through Hendricks, Sean also spent a lot of time with other influential jazz greats including Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Wynton Marsalis and more. Sullivan recently shared his thoughts on “Ready,” the new album, and his approach to jazz:

What is the story behind "Ready?" What's its message, and is there a story behind the songwriting/recording process?
Songs are gifts. "Ready" is the kind of no-frills-gut-level-blues I hoped would find me. There's a front-porch-southern-gothic side of me not unlike one of my favorite artists, Mose Allison, whose terse tunes wash away the non-essential like the mighty Mississippi of his birthplace, leaving behind our most endangered natural resource: the truth. As I recall, I was fooling around with a two-note descending melody line in the "guitar key" of E with a lazy "Sun Sessions" feel while maintaining the "one chord" with a relentless ostinato of E in the bass on the sixth string. Out of the blue came a lyric that wrote itself. The opening line of each verse follows the path of life, past, present and future: “I was born,” “I have lived,” “sometimes it kills me,” and “when I die.” “Ready” reminds me of the life I live and schools me every time I sing it.



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3/8/2014 9:32:55 PM

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