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Footprints


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Audio CD, April 18, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Karrin Allyson is undeniably one of today's most distinctive and masterful jazz vocal stylists. Footprints introduces Chris Caswell, whose literate, inventive new lyrics bring fresh perspectives to several of the modern jazz perennials featured herein. Concord. 2006.

Amazon.com

On this CD, vocalist Karrin Allyson generously shares the spotlight with a trio of guests, one of whom comes in from an unexpected angle. Indeed, Chris Caswell doesn’t sing or play an instrument here: What he's done is set lyrics to some classic jazz instrumentals by the likes of John Coltrane, Nat "Cannonball" Adderley and Wayne Shorter. (A few of these tracks have been renamed--"a detail that has to do with royalties," as the liner notes explain.) The other two guests are Jon Hendricks (whose little whistled solo on "Strollin'" is rather cute) and the Pacific Northwest–based scat expert Nancy King. King shows up on 6 of the 13 tracks and the manner in which her and Allyson's voices-—both equally burnished and agile--dialogue, particularly on "Life Is a Groove (Jordu)" is unusually lovely. Add to the mix a tight core group comprised of Bruce Barth (piano), Peter Washington (bass), and Todd Strait (drums), and you've got yourself an excellent jazz album. --Elisabeth Vincentelli

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Something Worth Waiting For (Con Alma) (Album Version) 3:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. All You Need to Say (Never Say Yes) (Album Version) 4:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Lightning (Lazy Bird) (Album Version) 2:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. A Long Way To Go (Equinox) (Album Version) 4:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Strollin' (Album Version) 4:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. I Found The Turnaround (The Turnaround) (Album Version) 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Follow The Footprints (Footprints) (Album Version) 4:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Life Is A Groove (Jordu) (Album Version) 4:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. A Tree And Me (Album Version) 3:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. I Can't Say (Teaneck) (Album Version) 3:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. But I Was Cool (Album Version) 4:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Give Me A Break (Unit 7) (Album Version) 3:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Everybody's Boppin' (Album Version) 3:35$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 18, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Concord Records
  • ASIN: B000EF5NDK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,031 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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'Round Midnight EPK

Biography

Karrin Allyson digs the late-night groove, even when it’s a little heartbreaking. After a dozen releases on Concord Jazz over the course of two decades – and three GRAMMY® nominations for Best Jazz Vocal Album along the way – the versatile vocalist/pianist still believes that the emotional connection that takes place in a small, quiet club during the late hours is one of ... Read more in Amazon's Karrin Allyson Store

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
50%
4 star
38%
3 star
13%
2 star
0%
1 star
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See all 16 customer reviews
Nancy King's voice works superbly well with Ms. Allyson's.
Rick Cornell
I recommend this--and her--highly, and will be picking up more of her work in the near future.
Earl Hazell
Thanks Karrin - can't wait to see what you come up with next time!
B. J. Lane

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By D. Silvia on April 19, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Of late, every album she has released is radically different. Paris to Rio - French/Portuguese jazz, Ballads - classic jazz, In Blue - smooth blues, Wild about you - pop/jazz interpretations. Just when you thought all the bases were covered, Footprints arrives. In Footprints Karrin reinterprets jazz standards that have had lyrics added (by Chris Caswell) - no small feat! She gets 4 stars for bravery alone! It takes guts to mess with classics - she proves she's got what it takes. Though it contains a great mix of duets and solos, it's not for everyone. I'm sure some people will be upset with lyrics being added to pure jazz instrumentals, but no matter what, you have to give Karrin credit. She sings what she likes and it shows. Pure clean vocals. She doesn't have the biggest voice out there but she sure has the prettiest. By the way: You scat lovers will not be disappointed - Karrin delivers.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Rick Cornell VINE VOICE on May 14, 2006
Format: Audio CD
IMHO, Karrin Allyson's "Ballads: Remembering John Coltrane" was the best vocal jazz c.d. of 2001, and one of the best of the millenium. But, IMHO, her follow-ups, "In Blue" and "Wild For You," didn't measure up to that one. The programs felt wrong, or something. So, where does "Footprints" stack up?

IMHO, to the caliber of "Ballads". I'm delighted to say: Karrin Allyson is back!

This album is about vocalese of post-bop tunes, mostly with original lyrics by Chris Caswell. We have: Dizzy's "Con Alma" (note: this was done with different lyrics, by Nancy Rafat, on Tierney Sutton's 2001 "Unsung Heroes"); Trane's "Equinox" (which is a slowed-down "Cousin Mary" by any other name); the famous "Jordu" of Duke Jordan's; Nat Adderley's "Teaneck" (an instrumental on the seminal "Cannonball Adderley and Nancy Wilson") and "Never Say Yes"; and the title track of Wayne Shorter's.

This setting absolutely works for Ms. Allyson. She sounds great, as always, and the piano work of accompanist Bruce Barth is top drawer.

But what makes this a high 5-star album is Nancy King, Oscar Brown and Jon Hendricks.

Nancy King's voice works superbly well with Ms. Allyson's. Together, they sound tremendous on "Yes," "A Tree and Me" and the title track; and her scatting on "Jordu" is sensational. She alone elevates this to a 5-star album.

"Tree" belongs to Oscar Brown, Jr., and is the highlight of this set. The reason why is that Ms. Allyson's voice works best when singing melancholy, plaintive ballads (which was what "Ballads" was mostly about); and this tune, with very poignant lyrics about the meaning of death, is the one. But the late Mr. Brown also contributes an hilarious "But I Was Cool", and Ms.
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Format: Audio CD
I discover Karryn Allison through this CD, and it is a happy discovery. I heard her rendition of Wayne Shorter's "Footprints" while shopping for books in a Barnes & Noble type bookstore in the Midwest, and immediately went over and bought the CD.

My personal favorites:

-Dizzy's "Con Alma" opens the CD beautifully. Her rendition adds a melancholy introspection to a tune that I have traditionally heard instrumentally with an entirely impersonal to serene feel. As a singer myself I have sung this tune with jazz choirs in churches in Harlem as an alternative to the usual hymn (it means "with [the] soul" in Spanish).

-"When some girl asks for your number, never say yes..." both the trio accompaniment of the two women on this cut of "All You Need to Say" and the lyrics are just about flawless. The choices of both of them in their improvisations compliment these qualities--and each other--beautifully. This tune makes me happy, the way a kid with a funny secret surrounded by cool acting adults feels.

-I am a nut for brilliant rhythmic improvisation, reconnecting jazz to its African roots. This cut of "Lazy Bird," with a deceptive syncopation which took me a minute to figure out, shows once again the talent of this trio.

-As I said I bought the entire CD for the cut of "Footprints." A song as perfectly written and performed as this one (Wayne's Shorter's African blues written for and performed by the second great Miles Davis Quintet of the sixties) is, as history has shown, often too intimidating to other instrumentalists let along singers to express via their own voice. Karryn makes this song her own, betraying (for lack of a better word) much of the African rhythmic pulse of the original without in actuality decaffeinating its essence.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By B. J. Lane on May 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This new CD, "Footprints," is by far one of Ms. Allyson's finest outings to date...and I truly echo Rick's words here!

It is not an easy task to take some of the finest instrumental classics in jazz and add lyrics, but Chris Caswell gets a huge tip of the hat for a fine job. Add some killer contributions from Nancy King (who deserves wider recognition) and Jon Hendricks (Mr. Vocalese), and you've got a fine album in which the sum total (in my book) equals all of its individual parts.

Far and away, my two favorite tracks are "But I Was Cool," with a killer flute solo by Frank Wess, and the rapid-fire "Everybody's Boppin'", where all the voices are joined together (reminiscent of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross). The memory of the late, great Oscar Brown, Jr. is preserved on this disc with two songs - it broke my heart to know that he passed on just months before having a chance to add his talent to the proceedings.

Thanks Karrin - can't wait to see what you come up with next time!
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