Karrin Allyson

Footprints

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AllMusic Review by

Vocalist Karrin Allyson has been making waves on the mainstream jazz scene since the '90s, which leaves fans eagerly awaiting new collections like Footprints. While the album features a number of things that fans have come to expect -- good songs, scat singing, and fine vocals -- Footprints also adds a number of guest spots to sweeten the package. Most notably, Allyson is joined by vocalists Nancy King and Jon Hendricks for duets on about half of the songs, and on "Everybody's Boppin'," all three join in the fun. Allyson and King's vocals styles intertwine easily on "All You Need to Say (Never Say Yes)," one of the high points of the album. They also turn in a fine, relaxed take on John Coltrane and Chris Caswell's "A Long Way to Go (Equinox)." Allyson's lighter tone also reflects well with Hendricks' deeper, granular approach on "Strollin'." All three really cut loose on "Everybody's Boppin'," an upbeat bit of nonsense that had to be difficult to record no matter how much fun it sounds. Footprints only downside is that the set list and approach, while always tasteful, is too evenly paced and tame; at times, it follows its mainstream jazz predecessors too closely. Fans who have enjoyed Allyson's early work, however, will embrace the album warmly.

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