Karrin Allyson divided up her very tasty one and a half hour set at the Seville Theater, in San Diego, into three parts. She did some gutsy blues, some suave Brazilian and some very traditional jazz lines, such as Jordu, all to an appreciative sold out audience. With a very steady and supporting group in back of her she displayed her now classic and very identifiable voice to perfection. Backed by Guitarist, Larry Koonse, bassist, Tom Warrington and Todd Strait on drums, whether playing the blues or one of the Jobim gems, the group backed her without getting in the way and offered excellent solos of their own. I was very impressed especially by bassist Tom Warrington, who has proven to be one of the best around today.
Of late, Karrin has been doing a lot of Brazilian pieces. Dividing the lyrics into half Portuguese and half English. Telling two different stories into two different languages. Karrin acknowledged that some of the English lyrics were penned by the late Suzanne McCorkle who was also enamored by the gracefulness of Brazilian Music.
Right at home doing vocalese, Karrin swung and scatted to the melody of Nat Adderly’s Never Say Yes as well as the aforementioned Duke Jordan line closely associated with Clifford Brown, Jordu.
Karrin’s voice, while not sounding silky and smooth, rather smokey and a bit coarse, is pure jazz. I hear a lot of Anita O’Day in her sound. This two time grammy award winner has done a lot since her first release sometime in the year 2000. We can expect a lot more from her and I for one, can’t wait for her next project.