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December 1999

Karrin Allyson
From Paris to Rio
Concord Records

Following five well-received jazz-oriented CDs, Karrin Allyson expands her range with this program of French and Brazilian songs, capped by an Italian ringer, Ennio Morricone's plangent theme from the film Cinema Paradiso. Performing in Portuguese, French, and English, she sings with the clarity, intelligence, and assurance that informed her previous recordings. This time out, she largely leaves jazz behind, with a repertoire that encompasses vintage Gallic chansons complete with street accordion ("Sour la Ciel de Paris," "Plasir d'Amour'), bossa nova standards ("O Pato," "Inutil Paisagem") and a Heitor Villa-Lobos vocalese, only returning to native soil with Bud Powell's bebop line "Parisian Thoroughfare." Although a refreshing, soothing album, From Paris to Rio is haunted by memories of Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Joao Gilberto, Caetano Veloso, Elis Regina, and the other artists who popularized these songs in their own languages. Plainly a labor of love, this project demonstrates Allyson's versatility and linguistic skills but straitjackets her creativity.

Originally published in December 1999
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