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Take Five With Jackie Allen

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Meet Jackie Allen: Critically acclaimed vocalist, songwriter and Blue Note recording artist Jackie Allen celebrates the release of her ninth album, Starry Night, live with chamber orchestra. Her CD features star-themed songs arranged by seven extraordinary arrangers who have written for such legendary artists as Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Doc Severinson, Bobby McFerrin, and Diana Krall. Her three previous albums Tangled, Love Is Blue and The Men In My Life have received glowing reviews. The Los Angeles Times remarked that “Allen's greatest strength is her sheer musicality and the way in which she both frames and interprets ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jackie Allen: Tangled

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It's certainly a highly-competitive field, but among female jazz vocalists, Jackie Allen rises to the top in the Midwest/Chicago area. Her move to a major label on this, her debut for Blue Note, is well-deserved, assuring her of top-notch production values as well as assistance with promotion and distribution. And apparently she remains free to choose what she wants to sing.

This is Allen's eighth recording project, and for various artistic and commercial reasons she's been moving closer to the pop mainstream with each new album. There are some jazz influences--the inclusion of two Rodgers and Hart standards, a Johnny ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jackie Allen: Tangled

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While it's clearly a pop album, Tangled has a light, jazzy feel. John Moulder's smooth jazz guitar, Steve Eisen's gentle flute and several keyboards back up Jackie Allen's lovely voice with an easy-to-like ambience. Allen delivers an expressive, convincing session. The singer uses her voice, whispery and coated with smooth silk, to interpret this program with a relaxed ease and subtle passion.

Allen leaves an enjoyable wake behind every song. Her eighth album, both contemporary and filled with an appreciation for personal forms of communication, is designed for broad audience appeal. Tangled, Allen's title song, features dramatic electric ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jackie Allen: The Men in My Life

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I first caught Jackie Allen ten or twelve years ago when she was working a lounge in Milwaukee with keyboardist Mel Rhyne. She was obviously a “natural," as talented and hip as she was wide-eyed and innocent (with a Wisconsin wholesomeness). As this album will attest, she's wiser and more seasoned, and she's definitely outgrown Milwaukee.

Jackie Allen has a vocal quality to die for: it's warm, breathy, and sultry in the middle register, retains its lightness in the low tones but blossoms radiantly in the upper register (she must have a good three octaves at her disposal). ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jackie Allen: The Men In My Life

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One of my great pleasures of the past few years was discovering singer Jackie Allen's debut, Never Let Me Go, in the discount bins. So it was nice to see some buzz on her Naxos recording last season, as well as a friendly reception for this album over the past few months. She's got a warm voice and delivery and has, to the best of my knowledge, always performed in a jazz vocal mode.

The concept of singing tunes associated with her favorite male composers is a good one but one must question the end result. The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jackie Allen: Which?

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Integration. Jackie Allen’s Which? is the second vocal release from Naxos Jazz. The budget label broke the ice with Gail Wynters’ 1998 release My Shining Hour (86027-2). Allen’s breathy sensuousness is a good label foil for Wynters’ earthy purring. Both vocalists hold the impeccable Bill Cunliffe on piano, Allen also having him as band leader, arranger, and associate producer. She employs Grammy-winning Ralph Jungheim as her executive producer. The Naxos Jazz stable continues to accumulate major jazz talent with appearances by Red Holloway playing his no-nonsense tenor and Gary Foster his cerebral alto.

Differentiation. Jackie Allen’s voice is frankly alto, ...



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