Karrin Allyson: I Cover the Waterfront


I Cover the Waterfront


Karrin Allyson (vocals)


Sweet Home Cookin' (Concord 4593)

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Karrin Allyson (vocals), Alan Broadbent (piano),

Putter Smith (bass), Sherman Ferguson (drums), Bob Cooper (tenor), Randy Sandke (trumpet)


Composed by Johnny Green and Edward Heyman


Recorded: Hollywood, CA, June 9-10, 1993


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Allyson emerged in the '90's as a jazz singer with a soft, unassuming voice, substantial paraphrase and scatting abilities, and a wide-ranging taste in songs. Her voice seemed to develop an even more consistent bottom and better-controlled vibrato as the years went by, but she was hip and swinging from day one. On Allyson's second CD, Sweet Home Cookin'," she also took total advantage of Alan Broadbent's expert piano accompaniment and arrangements.

Why so many vocalists (including Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan) omit the wonderful scene-setting verse to "I Cover the Waterfront" is a mystery. Allyson sings it movingly and evocatively: "Away from the city that hurts and knocks, I'm standing alone by the desolate docks...." She renders the chorus just as stirringly, with a quaver in her voice that conveys all the "hoping and longing." Broadbent's support and solo spot are, as usual, lucid and incisive. Allyson's closing treatment of the bridge and then chorus raises the emotional level, as she unleashes the full—and perhaps surprising—power of her persuasive voice, and the horns' obbligatos add even greater depth to her mesmerizing storytelling.

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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