On her new album, Some of That Sunshine, to be released by her own label Kasrecords on Aug. 3, singer Karrin Allyson unveils a skill that many of her listeners may believe is new for her: songwriting. But it turns out that she was already engaged in tunesmithery well before the release of her debut album in 1992—she’s just never presented her work to the public in this way before.
“As a young musician I was writing songs in a variety of styles,” Allyson says, “even before I discovered jazz. I loved the singer/songwriters of my youth and I followed their influence. Now, after years of performing all sorts of jazz and Brazilian and French music, I’m coming back to where I started.”
JazzTimes is pleased to premiere one of Some of That Sunshine’s 13 original tracks, “Just as Well,” which shows that Allyson is as talented at writing a classic-sounding ballad as she is at vocally delivering one.
On this song, Allyson is joined by tenor saxophonist Houston Person, pianist Miro Sprague, bassist Jeff Johnson, and drummer Jerome Jennings. Producer Chris Caswell plays Hammond B-3 and accordion elsewhere on the album; violinist Regina Carter and bassist Lee Sklar also put in memorable appearances.
To say that “Just as Well” is fully representative of Some of That Sunshine would be wrong, as Allyson’s songs explore a wide range of moods. “These songs are quite varied in style,” their author notes, “very ‘Allyson-like,’ I suppose you could say. I’ve always loved to mix things up.”
Look for a full review of Some of That Sunshine in the September issue of JazzTimes.