4

Akua Allrich: Live! Uniquely Standard

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Akua Allrich:  Live! Uniquely Standard 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).

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Hot Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Surrounded by the Night" CD/LP/Track Review Surrounded by the Night
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2016
Read "Mind Behind Closed Eyes" CD/LP/Track Review Mind Behind Closed Eyes
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Live At The Troubadour 1969" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Troubadour 1969
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "Aram Bajakian's Dolphy Formations" CD/LP/Track Review Aram Bajakian's Dolphy Formations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "December Songs" CD/LP/Track Review December Songs
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Parallax" CD/LP/Track Review Parallax
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 21, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!