Saturday, March 31, 2012

Show and Tell Review: Cabaret with Karrin Allyson

Jazz aficionados and first-timers alike will fall in love with the liquid gold that is the fingers and voice of Karrin Allyson in Cabaret with Karrin Allyson at the Fox Cities P.A.C.

The cabaret, which became a master class in jazz music and ensemble work, was a fluid piece of live art itself. Allyson and her band mates selected songs from their collection and let the music guide them to moments of improvisation.

It is her range, in musical ability and emotional exposure in every note, that inspired this listener to sit up in her chair and lean just a little closer to the stage, as if knowing Allyson’s music was about to tell a secret.

Allyson and her band (Rod Fleeman on guitar, Larry Kohut on bass and Eric Montzka on drums) invite new listeners into the jazz world with classics from the Great American Songbook and the Great American Jazz Songbook including Paul Simon and Charlie Chaplin. It’s done in a way only brilliant musicians can – by surprising you in their interpretation and arrangement of a song you’ve known your whole life and are already in love with.

Allyson brings an intimacy to her performances that make you feel as if she is in your living room taking requests at your piano.

With a voice with many facets of warmth, rasp and smoothness, Allyson’s most impressive vocal moments of the evening came with her scat performances. Also a skilled musician was Rod Fleeman on guitar who knew how to accompany and highlight Allyson and stand out as a master musician simultaneously.

If you’re a jazz fan, Cabaret with Karrin Allyson at the Fox Cities P.A.C. is a can’t miss. If you’re a jazz novice and remotely interested in music, Karrin Allyson is the perfect artist to wet your feet in the art form. She’ll make you want to dive right into scatting along with her.

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