Even those casually familiar with vocalist and pianist Karrin Allyson’s 26-year recording career surely appreciate her tremendous versatility, exploring everything from French chansons to Brazilian jazz, from blues to pop, from Coltrane to Rodgers and Hammerstein with unerring panache. With Some of That Sunshine, Allyson unleashes her equally impressive dexterity as a songwriter. Sharing keyboard duties with Miro Sprague and Chris Caswell (also the disc’s producer), alongside bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer Jerome Jennings, she fills the album with 13 finely crafted originals that variously suggest the spiritedness of Carole King, the perspicacity of Paul Simon, the warmth of Irving Berlin, and the bite of Bob Dorough or Dave Frishberg.
Allyson and company travel a serpentine route, venturing from the philosophical optimism of the title track, featuring violinist Regina Carter, to the funkified heartbreak of “Wish You Were Mine,” gentle caress of “As Long As I Know You Love Me,” and, with its softly powerful examination of a long-term relationship’s splintering, the sorrowfully reflective “Happy Now.” Saxophonist Houston Person steps in to help define the romantic disillusion of “Just as Well” and the love-the-one-you’re-with verve of “Right Here, Right Now.” Bass legend Lee Sklar drives the darkly disenchanted “One of These Days.” Allyson adds dual perspectives on social change, first with “Shake It Up,” a rousing ode to stepping forward and, with Carter, the closing “Big Discount,” a stirring rallying cry that encompasses pay equity, shattering glass ceilings, and the #MeToo movement.
Preview or download Some of That Sunshine on Amazon!