Karrin Allyson has a commanding stage presence. She has a way with words and phrases like no other singer, she takes chances in her song selection, seemingly with no fear. Her delivery is strong, and comes from the heart. Her first song "Moon Ray" had her accompanist's, Rod Fleeman (guitar) and Larry Kohut (bass) swinging hard while Allyson poured her heart and soul into the classic tune. After this first number she had the audience in the palm of her hand and from that point onward could do no wrong.
Karrin Allyson came on the scene back in 1992 to critical acclaim for her Indie release of I Didn’t Know About You. Picked up by major record label Concord, she has gone on to release 12 cd’s, including three Grammy nominated records. In 2001 her Grammy nominated Ballads: Remembering John Coltrane, In 2006, Footprints and for her latest nomination, Imagina, Songs of Brazil.
She is at ease singing in other languages, a multi linguist, she sings in Portuguese as well or better than most Brazilian singers. By the fourth number she was moving over to the piano. On Oscar Brown Jr’s "Long As You’re Living" Allyson displayed quite capable playing and wonderful singing - touching on emotions and communicating to each person in the room, or so it seemed. For the first set she mixed things up, opening a song in Portuguese and switching to English, as in "Estrada Branca (This Happy Madness)" She sings with all her emotions, she conveys humour, she touches the soul of the song, creating visions and thoughts of emotional wonderment. The Hank Mobley song "Then He Kissed Me" was playful, bouncy and bluesy. Wes Montgomery’s "East Coast Blues" gave guitarist Rod Fleeman a chance to shine with some sterling guitar licks. Fleeman is a solid Kansas City jazz guitarist who plays his arch top with grand sumptuous chords that ring out with pure clarity.
On the trios return to the stage for the second and final set the audience was treated to a swinging version of "A Felicidade", as well as "Say It (over and over again)" "Double Rainbow (aka, Raining On The Rose Bush", "Loads of Lovely Love" and Billy Joel’s "So It Goes" as well as Joni Mitchell’s "All I Want". The set went smoothly, a flowing performance from one of the greatest jazz vocalist’s in one of the most intimate settings. The Old Mill Inn audience appreciated the performance and cheered Karrin Allyson back to the stage. Some one requested "Footprints" but that was already performed in the first set, so for her critics, who say she can’t do any originals, she performed an original for her encore song. A happy blues "Karrin’s Blues".