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Wild for You

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Album Review

It's always a blast hearing the way a child of the '70s will interpret the classics from that era, and the two-time Grammy nominee picks plenty of gems, some mega-popular, others more obscure, to sink her stylized jazzy teeth into. Although she's most celebrated for her interpretations of Gershwin, bossa nova, Monk, and Coltrane, in her liner notes Allyson reminds listeners that she has scattered various similar covers throughout her extensive catalog. Weaving her wistful vocals like a precise thread through the needle-sharp, often sparse piano-based arrangements of Gil Goldstein, she does an admirable job with Cat Stevens, Elton John, and James Taylor, but seems most comfortable and passionate tackling hits by the ladies who no doubt fostered her childhood dreams. She adds elegance and a lightly swinging grace to "Feel Like Makin' Love," offers thoughtful, plaintive twists on two Carly Simon gems, and earns a quote of praise from Melissa Manchester herself for a soulful, rangy rendition of "I Got Eyes." Hands down, however, Allyson's voice is best suited to interpret Joni Mitchell, and her vibrant, alternately restrained and powerful cruises through percussive arrangements of "All I Want" and "Help Me" are the album's true highlights. Since Allyson has made past recordings focused on covers of one artist's material, it wouldn't be fantasizing too much to want her at some point to do an all-Mitchell tribute. She's at her wildest when she's taking chances.

Biography

Born: Great Bend, KS

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the more impressive jazz singers to emerge in the '90s, Karrin Allyson is a great scat singer but also highly expressive on ballads. Born in Great Bend, Kansas, Allyson grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and the San Francisco Bay Area — during which time she began taking classical piano lessons, in addition to performing as a folksinger and in an all-female rock band, Tomboy. Upon graduating from the University of Nebraska in 1987 (and receiving a degree in piano), Allyson sang regularly at...
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Wild for You, Karrin Allyson
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