166

Karrin Allyson: From Paris to Rio

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Songstress Karrin Allyson spreads wide her conceptual wings on her sixth release for Concord Jazz, crooning in three languages in an engaging salute to France and Brazil that may be short on Jazz but is long on emotion and charm. Allyson is cute as a button, the folks in Kansas City (where she resides) love her, and who are we to disagree? Allyson sings exactly as she looks, in a bright and lovable voice whose timbre reminds me (I’m dating myself here) of her namesake, June Allyson, a queen of the MGM musicals in the late ’40s–early ’50s. As June was always one of my favorite entertainers, that’s a compliment. Also complimentary is my admiration for Karrin’s ability to sing so fluently in French or Portuguese (a language most of us don’t learn in school), not only inflecting flawlessly (at least, as far as I can tell) but capturing as well the distinctive temperament that sets each of them apart from other languages, and for her Gilbert and Sullivan–like knack for unraveling tongue–twisting lyrics almost nonchalantly (as on “O Pato” — The Duck— which she interprets wonderfully in English). She’s so proficient in French and Portuguese that it’s almost shocking to hear Allyson singing in her native tongue, as she does also on “Inutil Paisagem” and the album’s closing tune, “That Day” — a gorgeous lyric adapted from the Italian film Cinema Paradiso. That’s the only detour from France or Brazil on the roadway, but Allyson says she had to include the song simply because it’s so lovely, and she’s right. Karrin’s no show–off, preferring to let the lyrics speak for themselves, but she can scat like Ella or Sarah if she chooses to, as for example on Bud Powell’s busy “Parisian Thoroughfare.” Allyson says she has long been in love with the music of France and Brazil, and that love shines intensely throughout this ardent recital. It seems to be shared by her sidemen too, as they play with a passion usually reserved for those one holds near and dear. These are some of the best Jazz musicians KC has to offer, and it’s always a special treat to hear the superb Kim Park (alto on “O Barquinho” and “Parisian Thoroughfare,” flute on “Catavento e Girasol”). In a bumper crop of accomplished young female Jazz singers, Karrin Allyson stands as tall as that corn in Oklahoma! — “as high as an elephant’s eye” — and it looks like she’s climbin’ clear up to the sky.

Track listing: Sous le Ciel de Paris (Under Paris Skies); Samba Saravah; Te Amo (I Love You); O Pato (The Duck); Ne Me Quitte Pas (If You Go Away); Plasir d’Amour (The Pleasure of Love); O Barquinho (My Little Boat); Coração Vagabundo (My Vagabond Heart); Parisian Thoroughfare; Des Histoires; Inutil Paisagem (Useless Landscape); Catavento e Girasol (Windmill and Sunflower); Aria (from Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5); That Day (Cinema Paradiso) (67:43).

Personnel:

Karrin Allyson, vocals, piano, percussion; Gil Goldstein, accordion, piano; Paul Smith, piano, synthesizer; Danny Embrey, Rod Fleeman, acoustic guitar; Bob Bowman, bass; Todd Strait, drums, percussion; Doug Auwarter, surdo, drums. String section

| Record Label: Concord Music Group | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Billows Of Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Some Morning" CD/LP/Track Review Some Morning
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: March 2, 2016
Read "Hear & Now" CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Elevenses" CD/LP/Track Review Elevenses
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 5, 2016
Read "Up and Coming" CD/LP/Track Review Up and Coming
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: January 29, 2017
Read "Return" CD/LP/Track Review Return
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!