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Alyssa Allgood: Lady Bird

Chris Mosey By

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Today scat is, literally, a dirty word. In a more polite age it was what Louis Armstrong did when he forgot the words to "Heebie-Jeebies."

Such was Pops' influence that, even though it was a mistake, soon everyone was doing it. After bebop kicked in, King Pleasure took things further when he first improvised wordlessly, then wrote down his own words to James Moody's solo on "I'm In The Mood For Love."

Others followed in the King's footsteps, most famously Lambert, Hendricks & Ross and—in a knockabout kind of way—Ella Fitzgerald.

With this, her first-ever record, Chicago vocalist Alyssa Allgood —just 23 years old—bravely attempts to revive the scat tradition. It will, hopefully, go some way to restoring the reputation of a word now most commonly used to denote a particularly disgusting form of pornography.

Backed by a cooking quartet led by organist Don Chase, Allgood displays her vocal chops to best advantage on the opener, Charlie Parker's "Yardbird Suite" from 1946, which Bird wrote in C and straight —or reasonably straight—4/4 time.

It has a wonderfully catchy melody and must be something of a showstopper when Allgood performs it in the Windy City clubs where she earns her keep.

She continues with one of Tom Jobim's lesser known but most poetic love songs, "If You Never Come To Me." There's a nice, laidback but assured guitar solo from Tim Fitzgerald on this one.

"Jaded," Allgood's own composition, is anything but; full of interesting melodic twists and turns. Alex Beltran turns in a fine, restrained solo on tenor saxophone.

Allgood has daringly added her own introductory verse to the old standard "If I Should Lose You and—more daringly still—penned a complete set of lyrics to Tadd Dameron's "Lady Bird." Written in 1939, this was the first song to feature what became known as the Tad Dameron Turnaround (Cm7, E flat m7, A flat m7, D flat m7).

And, with that—just five songs—it's all over. A quality-starved world hungers for more.

Track Listing: Yardbird Suite; If You Never Come To Me; Jaded; If I Should Lose You; Lady Bird.

Personnel: Alyssa Allgood: vocals; Don Chase: organ; Tim Fitzgerald: guitar; Alex Beltran: saxophone; Matt Plaskota: drums.

Title: Lady Bird | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Self Produced

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