Courtesy of the artist
Karrin Allyson. Courtesy of the artist
"I've Got the World on a String" (T. Koehler, H. Arlen)
"There Will Be Other Times" (M. McPartland)
"Daydream" (E.K. Ellington, B. Strayhorn)
"Things We Did Last Summer" (S. Cahn, J. Styne)
"My Foolish Heart" (V. Young, N. Washington)
"Sweet Home Cookin' Man" (K. Allyson)
"Twilight World" (M. McPartland)
"Yeh Yeh" (J. Hendricks, P. Patricks, R.L. Grant)
"Everything Must Change" (B. Ighner)
"Straight No Chaser" (T.S. Monk)
On this installment of Piano Jazz from 1998, Karrin Allyson brings her cool yet warm voice to a set that includes tunes by Arlen and Koehler, Ellington and Strayhorn, Cohn and Styne, and a couple of host Marian McPartland's own pieces, "There'll Be Other Times" and "Twilight World." McPartland evidently digs Allyson's voice: She invited her to perform on the Piano Jazz 30th-anniversary celebration in 2009.
Allyson was born on July 27, 1963, in Great Bend, Kan. She grew up in Omaha, Neb., where she studied classical piano and sang in her church, and later attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha on a classical piano scholarship. At this time, Allyson was the lead singer in a rock band and also developed an interest in jazz; she soon began singing in the university jazz swing choir and gigging around Omaha with her own jazz ensemble. After time spent working in Minneapolis, Allyson moved to Kansas City, where she recorded her 1992 debut album with a local band, I Didn't Know About You, on Concord Records. In 1998, she moved to New York City, and ever since has called the city home in the spare moments when she's not on the road.
A first-call vocalist, Allyson is comfortable singing a wide variety of tunes inside and outside of jazz — bebop, standards, bossa nova, blues, folk and soft rock — and she does it all in English, French, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish. She also tackles instrumental compositions through her arrangements of scat singing and vocalese, and is a commanding bandleader.
Today, Karrin Allyson is a shining light of the jazz scene. Village Voice jazz critic Gary Giddins has said, "Allyson coolly stakes her claim. She brings a timbre that is part ice and part grain — incisive, original and emotionally convincing." She has 13 albums under her belt, three of which are Grammy nominees for Best Jazz Vocal: Ballads: Remembering John Coltrane (2001), Footprints (2006) and Imagina: Songs of Brasil (2008). Her latest album, 'Round Midnight, is the singer's selection of 11 late-night ballads: "Turn Out the Stars," "Goodbye," "Send in the Clowns" and the title track by Thelonious Monk. The album also finds Allyson again accompanying herself on piano and Fender Rhodes keyboard after a long spell as a vocalist only.
Originally recorded Sept. 9, 1997. Originally broadcast March 14, 1998.