USA TODAY: Exquisite Voice and Elegant Delivery"
On 'Round Midnight, Allyson weaves an elegant, understated dreamscape featuring 11 songs by some of the most storied writers in jazz, Broadway and pop music, from Duke Ellington to Stephen Sondheim to Paul Simona full track listing follows. The acclaimed release, the singer's thirteenth on Concord Jazz, marks the first time that Allyson plays all the keyboard partspiano and Rhodes. The subtle production lets Allyson's voice shine, as she delivers melancholy, mature takes on such classics as 'Send In The Clowns,' Charlie Chaplin's 'Smile,' Johnny Mandel's 'The Shadow of Your Smile," Ellington's 'Sophisticated Lady,' and more. Allyson will tour this Spring in support of the album, and an itinerary follows, below.
Over the course of her storied career, Allyson has earned coverage from some of the most respected critics in America. In a NY TIMES concert review, Stephen Holden observed: Ms. Allyson is really a jazz equivalent of Bonnie Raitt. She approaches a romantic song from a perspective that is wised up and well defended but not quite tough. I couldn't imagine her falling for a line of sweet talk." In a separate live review, Holden noted, She doesn't preen, flirt or act coy. What you see and hear is what you get: a musically and psychologically centered gamine, deeply schooled in jazz...and devoid of grandiosity." The NY TIMES' Ben Ratliff has described Allyson's voice as expressive, a little scratchy, brassy and generous, more committed to swing." Veteran jazz critic Don Heckman wrote in The LA TIMES, Allyson has another attribute that has consistently placed her in the top level of jazz vocal artists: utter musical fearlessness." In The Washington Post, Mike Joyce praised the singer's soulful way with a ballad, quiet and haunting. Part of the fun of listening to Allyson, however, is hearing how gracefully she moves from ballads and bop to contemporary pop and bossa nova."
Concord Jazz introduces the album as follows:
The set opens with Bill Evans's Turn Out the Stars," a song whose poignant lyrics by Gene Lees are made even more heartbreaking by Allyson's decision to slow down the tempo and stretch the time at certain points along the way. The followup track is a quiet reading of Paul Simon's April Come She Will" that examines the human heart through the prism of changing seasons.
Further in, Allyson delivers a wistful rendition of Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most," the bittersweet standard by Fran Landesman and Tommy Wolf, based on the classic T.S. Eliot line: April is the cruelest month..." I've sung this song for years and always wrestled with its long form and many lyrics," says Allyson. I wanted to make it swing, yet still have it convey the sadness of the story that's told in the lyrics." Allyson closes with the title track, Monk's iconic composition that puts the final touch on the jazz club vibe that has taken shape amid the preceding ten tracks.
In 'Round Midnight, Allyson is joined by her long time partner, guitarist Rod Fleeman, with Bob Sheppard on woodwinds, harmonicist Randy Weinstein, bassist Ed Howard, whose previous associations include balladeer Shirley Horn, and drummer Matt Wilson.
'Round Midnight Track Listing:
- Turn Out the Stars (Bill Evans-Gene Less)
- April Come She Will (Paul Simon)
- Goodbye (Gordon Jenkins)
- I'm Always Chasing Rainbows (Harry Carroll-Joseph McCarthy)
- Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most (Fran Landesman-Tommy Wolf)
- Smile (Charlie Chaplin)
- Sophisticated Lady (Duke Ellington-Irving Mills-Mitchell Parish)
- There's No Such Thing As Love (Ian Fraser-Anthony Newley)
- The Shadow of Your Smile (Johnny Mandel-Paul Francis Webster)
- Send In the Clowns (Stephen Sondheim)
- 'Round Midnight (Thelonious Monk-Cootie Williams-Bernard Hanighen)
Karrin Allyson 2011 Tour Dates:
- 4/26/2011 Cabaret at Theater Square Pittsburgh, PA
- 5/5/2011 TBA Toronto, Canada
- 5/7/2011 Folly Theater Kansas City, MO
- 5/8/2011 Mayne Stage Theater Chicago, IL
- 5/20-21/2011 Sculler's Jazz Club Boston, MA
- 5/22/2011 Iron Horse Music Hall Northampton,
- 5/27-28/2011 Spoleto Festival USA Charleston, SC
- 5/31-6/4/2011 Birdland New York, NY
- 7/9/2011 Omaha Jazz Fest Omaha, NE