Sunday, July 27, 2014

Karrin Allyson In Blue 2002

There's been other just as recommendable Karrin Allyson records in the last twenty years, but none has found the perfect fit between songs and songstress as this one. And the band is choice, too. Mulgrew Miller (piano), Lewis Nash (drums), Peter Washington (bass), Danny Embrey (guitar) and Steve Wilson (saxophone) are all top notch, and Nick Phillips' production is flawless.

The songs are themed around the the album's title, but these aren't just torch songs. There's spritely work here, but it is all in the service of a late-night blues vibe that cooks like crazy and works consistently. Songs by Oscar Brown, Jr., Mose Allison, George and Ira Gershwin, Joni Mitchell, and Bobby Troup all share a perfect frame within these casual yet deep arraignments, and Allyson's subtle yet powerful delivery.

If you're unfamiliar with Karrin Allyson, you've missed one of today's finest jazz interpreters. She's got it going on in a serious way, with real jazz cred, and an approachable style that's as comfortable as an old shoe. Then it gets into you, and you're transported to a dark room late at night, and she's signing just for you.

After twelve years on the stereo, it still sounds fresh every time.

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