TAKE THAT BACK: Sue Orfield and Joan Hutton Release Collaborative Jazz Album

Midwestern jazz veterans’ kitchen collabs bear inspiring musical fruit

Parker Reed |

DYNAMIC DUO: Sue Orfield and Joan Hutton share the fronting of their project Take That Back, a jazz quintet with a flare for dueling melodies. (Submitted photo)
DYNAMIC DUO: Sue Orfield and Joan Hutton share the fronting of their project Take That Back, a jazz quintet with a flare for dueling melodies. (Submitted photo)

If you think jazz music is struggling in 2022, well you just might want to take that statement back after hearing this new tantalizing release. 

Prolific jazz musicians Sue Orfield and Joan Hutton just released their first collaborative record, Take That Back, a 10-song effort on Shifting Paradigm Records. The album is a crash course in traditional jazz, featuring magnificent bass clarinet and tenor sax melodic dueling courtesy of the powerhouse duo.

Hutton said the project aims to use the unique sonic qualities of Orfield’s and Hutton’s bass clarinet and tenor sax playing, a unique aspect of their collaboration.

“We both wrote many of these tunes specifically for our group, really trying to take advantage of these sound combinations,” Hutton said. “I enjoy working with two horns in harmony, so my tunes rarely have a single melodic line; they are most often written to be two equal voices, not one melody and one harmony.”

The collaboration between the two veteran jazz musicians came when the duo began recording live videos in Hutton’s kitchen and uploading them to YouTube. After a fanfare developed around the project, the duo began adding guest musicians to their videos, eventually evolving into a quintet called Take That Back. 

When the duo began recording the album in 2021, their record label advised them to credit the album to their solo artist names, and call the album Take That Back, in order to best navigate the changing online search engine optimization game. With the album now out, the group – consisting of Hutton, Orfield, Ted Godbout, Kameron Markworth, and David Schmalenberger – will perform throughout the Midwest as Take That Back.

“What I love about a life in music is that you have never really reached your goal, you are always progressing and there is always more to learn and  accomplish,” Hutton said. “I wake up almost every day thinking about that and looking forward to getting to work, whether it's advancing my skills on my instruments or working on tune I’m writing.”

Orfield said that her quest to continually collaborate with new musicians is something she takes a great deal of pride in, as it pushes her musically and reinvigorates her passion for the craft.

“Music is the thing that makes me tick,” Orfield said. “What makes me happiest in life is writing original music and seeing it then come to life in a live situation. Recording is another beast in itself, as it is very satisfying to hear the finished product of your work. Music is truly the thing that I work for every day.”

Take That Back will celebrate its release with a performance at Stones Throw in Eau Claire on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 7:30pm. Advance tickets are available at Take That Back by Joan Hutton and Sue Orfield is available now on all major streaming platforms, and physical copies are available at The Local Store.