All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

4

Akua Allrich: Live! Uniquely Standard

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
The jazz vocals standard repertoire has a quantum mechanics of its own. Artists seem attracted to certain dense loci within the repertoire and orbit there. Then there are some artists that do this while accumulating other pieces outside of this loci to make their own. This is what Washington, DC native Akua Allrich does and displays on Live!: Uniquely Standard. Allrich's set list, from two performances in DC between February and April 2012, reveals a special reverence for incomparable singers Nina Simone and Miriam Makeba, for whom Allrich has developed tribute programs. But this young and exciting artist takes things well beyond this realm of singing, to encompass much more.

While the very organic "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," driving "Sinnerman" and Africa-humid "Afro Blue" provide the solid foundation of this set assembled from shows at Washington DC's Bohemian Caverns and THEARC Theater, it is Allich's reaching survey of just about everything else that is so provocative. Allrich opens the disc with the Donaldson/Kahn 1928 composition "My Baby Just Cares for Me," which became a signature song for Simone some 30 years later. Allrich retains a good bit of the pre-Depression era flavor of the song without sacrificing the power infused by Simone.

Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life" is beautifully elegant and a sharp Juxtaposition to the carnal "Afro Blue." The contrast is as dizzying as it is brilliant. Allrich has the chops to sing whatever she wants, and further proves it on a bonfire "Black Coffee." Her instrumental support never interferes with the singer, providing a fecund soil in which to plant her vocal garden. Taken as a whole, this live recital is a very good jumping off point for those interested in modern jazz vocals and fans of the great Nina Simone. Allrich is a vocalist to watch. She may very well be the next big thing.


Track Listing: My Baby Just Cares for Me; Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood; I Wish You Love; Lush Life; Jol'Inkomo; Afro Blue; Wishful Thinking; Black Coffee;Sinnerman; (I'm Afraid) the Masquerade Is Over; (Outro) Fire/Seeline Woman.

Personnel: Akua Allrich: vocals; Kris Funn: bass; Janelle Gill: piano (1-7, 11); Kush Abadey: drums; Warren Wolf: piano (8-10); Samir Moulay: guitar (8- 10); Agyei Osei Akoto: congas (9).

Title: Live! Uniquely Standard | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Northern Migrations CD/LP/Track Review
Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Egregore CD/LP/Track Review
Egregore
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Lifelike CD/LP/Track Review
Lifelike
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Whatever Possessed Me CD/LP/Track Review
Whatever Possessed Me
by Don Phipps
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live At The Fillmore East 1968 CD/LP/Track Review
Live At The Fillmore East 1968
by Doug Collette
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 21, 2018
Read "Scratches Of Spain" CD/LP/Track Review Scratches Of Spain
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 9, 2017
Read "Discussions" CD/LP/Track Review Discussions
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 20, 2017
Read "Dirt In The Ground" CD/LP/Track Review Dirt In The Ground
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 13, 2017
Read "Cluster Swerve" CD/LP/Track Review Cluster Swerve
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 6, 2017
Read "The Street Doctor" CD/LP/Track Review The Street Doctor
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 26, 2018
Read "Open Borders" CD/LP/Track Review Open Borders
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 14, 2018