Jazz Vocals

Allyson At Her Best


The title of Concord Jazz's recent release, By Request: The Best Of Karrin Allyson, is perhaps misleading. When is jazz vocalist Karrin Allyson not at her best? Certainly some tracks fit her exceptionally intimate, exquisitely conceived storytelling style more than others. But everything she sings pairs her innate musical and dramatic intelligence with tasteful arrangements and perfectly paced playing that bring out the best in her unique delivery.

Listen, for example, to the first track, Cole Porter's "Night and Day." Any number of singers have danced their way through this tune, but few have repeated the intro's "You, You, You" in ways that leave no question that this is an immensely seductive, love song rather than a pretty ballad with clever lyrics.

Allyson's remarkable versatility is displayed in tunes as diverse as her signature samba, "O Pato (The Duck)" by Jayme Silva and Jon Hendricks, the Edith Piaf-sounding "Sous Le Ceil De Paris (Under Paris Skies)," and the extremely evocative ballad that I can't get enough of, "Everything Must Change." A special treat is the previously unreleased track, "Next Time Around (Soultrane)." Originally intended for the 2005 album, Footprints, it was omitted because rights for Chris Caswell's new lyrics did not clear in time.

Karrin has a way of drawing you in, voicing lyrics with such passionate clarity and emotional integrity that it's hard to believe that she is singing to more than you alone. Delicious stuff.

in this playlist.