24 MAY 11 ANNE FARNSWORTH
Grammy-nominated vocalist Karrin Allyson releases her 14th Concord album this month, 'Round Midnight. A set of bittersweet ballads, it sets a tone that Allyson describes as "walking late at night" down a cold, windy street before stopping into a piano bar where a woman is singing "these intimate ballads -- one after another." In other words, balm for the wounded soul.
The set is an eclectic mix of jazz standards, vintage chestnuts and one of Paul Simon's most lyrical flights of fancy, "April Comes She Will." Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" is another unusual choice, made even more unique with a solo piano opening consisting of contrary motion melody lines that sound like something you'd hear on the soundtrack of an art house thriller.
Several of the songs appearing here aren't sung very often because, frankly, they're hard to sing. Bill Evans' "Turn Out The Stars" is one example, as is the novelistic "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most."
Allyson tackles Monk's "Round Midnight," another rangy, chromatic beast with just Ed Howard's bass lines for accompaniment. It's good stuff and perfect for those times when a midnight mood strikes.