Karrin Allyson

If there's a choir in heaven, someday the exquisite vocalist Karrin Allyson will lead it. She's such an otherworldly talent that the creator probably already has her on heavy rotation. She's been astounding the public and critics alike since her 1992 debut, building a storybook career and attaining one stratospheric achievement after another, including two Grammy nominations for her Ballads: Remembering John Coltrane. While she may be hyped to the point of overkill, it's simply a case of amplifying the facts.

In Blue, her latest release, documents her first try at interpreting a whole set of songs loosely categorized as blues, including material by Mose Allison, George and Ira Gershwin, and Joni Mitchell. She's previously proved her versatility by recording and performing samba, bop, bossa nova, pop, Broadway show tunes and singing in French, Portuguese and Italian. And since she's known for her scatting talents, it's no surprise that she pulls this off as well.

With all her gifts, including one for immaculate phrasing, Allyson never fails to swing. Enjoy her recess from heaven before she takes off for the stars -- mere gravity can't hold her back.

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