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...

2

Alyssa Allgood: Out Of The Blue

Tyran Grillo By

Sign in to view read count
If Alyssa Allgood's debut EP Lady Bird made a splash, then Out of the Blue is a veritable deluge of inspired thinking. The Chicago vocalist's imprint is evident in every lick of this full-length follow-up. From the original lyrics and arrangements to her choice of musicians and production, Allgood uses everything in her toolkit throughout 10 redux tunes from the Blue Note catalog. Many of these tracks started out as instrumentals in their heyday, foregrounding the melodic and improvisational stylings of pioneers as diverse as Bobby Timmons, Wayne Shorter, and Hank Mobley. The latter's "Dig Dis" is carefully reimagined here as "Watch Me Walk Away," an emotional anthem that, by Allgood's lyrical spark, bears the torch of Dionne Warwick's "Walk on By." From bar one, the talents of Dan Chase (organ), Tim Fitzgerald (guitar), and Matt Plaskota (drums) are duly evident under Allgood's unforced control. Their rapport establishes a running pattern, as Fitzgerald salves Chase's flames with legato suggestions, while Plaskota stays true to the roots beneath it all. The chemical brilliance of their reactions sings through collective vehicles like "Beatrice" (Sam Rivers), "Moanin'" (Bobby Timmons), and Lee Morgan's "Only a Memory (Ceora)" with smoothest conviction.

Naturally, saxophonist Chris Madsen adds his two cents and so much more to awesome effect in John Coltrane's "Noticing the Moment (Moment's Notice)" and Shorter's "Speak No Evil." In the first, a lyrical mission statement for the project if there is one, he harmonizes with Allgood but also ventures out on his own, trailing her command of melody with cool afterglow. In the second, he complements the bandleader's mahogany intonation with audible moonlight. Madsen further epitomizes the vibrancy of the engineering, which gives the album the feeling of having been recorded live in a club. This atmosphere reaches peak density in the album's closer, a sumptuous take on "Mirrors" by Joe Chambers.

But it's Allgood, with that fullness of expression found in so few vocalists cut from current cloth, who attracts the brightest spotlight. Sounding even more mature than she did on her first album, she is quintessential in every regard. The artistry of her scat and vocalese, whether it floats like a butterfly in "It's You or No One" (also a marathon run for Plaskota) or stings like a bee in Joe Henderson's "If," she treats the art of wordless singing as it should be—which is to say, as an instrument in its own right. But, in the same way that I often marvel at the pencil sketches of master painters, I find myself marveling just as well over her straightforward balladry. There's something about her delivery, for instance, of Horace Silver's "Peace" that speaks to the very heart of her persona and how much more light it has to give before it runs out of wick. The end result is an album of such charm and intelligence in equal measure, it'll having you saying all's good with Allgood at a time when the same might not be said for the world at large.

Track Listing: Watch Me Walk Away (Dig Dis); Noticing The Moment (Moment's Notice); It's You Or No One; Speak No Evil; Beatrice; Peace; If; Only A Memory (Ceora); Moanin'; Mirrors.

Personnel: Alyssa Allgood: voice; Dan Chase: organ; Tim Fitzgerald: guitar; Chris Madsen: saxophone; Matt Plaskota: drums.

Title: Out Of The Blue | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Jerujazz Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Best of / Year End
CD/LP/Track Review
Bailey's Bundles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Out Of The Blue

Out Of The Blue

Jerujazz Records
2016

buy
Lady Bird

Lady Bird

Self Produced
2015

buy

Related Articles

Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Music in Motian CD/LP/Track Review
Music in Motian
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Descansado - Songs For Films CD/LP/Track Review
Descansado - Songs For Films
by John Ephland
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Simbiose CD/LP/Track Review
Simbiose
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 18, 2018
Read For Lew CD/LP/Track Review
For Lew
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 18, 2018
Read "Is It Me...?" CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Cherry ‎– Sakura" CD/LP/Track Review Cherry ‎– Sakura
by John Sharpe
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "The Hands" CD/LP/Track Review The Hands
by John Eyles
Published: February 12, 2018
Read "The Spirit Of Piteşti" CD/LP/Track Review The Spirit Of Piteşti
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 17, 2017
Read "Pekka" CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 20, 2017
Read "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To" CD/LP/Track Review You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 24, 2018