David Allyn

In the Blue of Evening

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There is a body of male singers who have never received recognition commensurate with their talents. Among these under-valued artists are Ernie Andrews, Johnny Hartman, Arthur Prysock, and David Allyn. Of the seven LPs Allyn cut from 1946 to 1981, none of them have been re-released as a CD. This is a major indictment of those record company officials who make decisions on reissues. In the Blue of Evening, which was recorded circa 1966 in Los Angeles, has ten tracks (nine standards and an original) well orchestrated by Johnny Mandel and supported by an outstanding set of sidemen. It is influenced by Bing Crosby and sounds a tad like a lower-voiced Dick Haymes. Allyn sang with orchestras with two very different styles, Jack Teagarden's and Boyd Raeburn's, before going out as a single. On In the Blue of Evening Allyn is supported by three musical formats. The first is a full orchestra with strings, French horn, and harp; the second orchestra has the strings and harp replaced by Conte Candoli's trumpet and Frank Rosolino's trombone; and the third is a quintet spearheaded by master pianist Jimmy Rowles. Each of the instrumental groupings offers a different coloring to Allyn's delivery, ranging from lush and romantic to swinging and upbeat. There's plenty of outstanding support from the sidemen. Bud Shank's flute flutters on "That Ole Devil Called Love." Larry Bunker's vibes are consistently featured in the small group settings and, although not listed as such, it sounds as if he is playing a xylophone on "Remind Me." Whoever has come into ownership of the master tapes from the Discovery label should seriously consider reissuing the Allyn sides on CDs. Those who appreciate good singing have been deprived of this and other Allyn sessions for far too long.

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