I’ve been listening to Karin Allyson on CD’s for years, her voice a tart sorbet.  Raspberry will do. With a yearning sweet undercurrent. I was going to compare it to a well-aged cheddar, but somehow there’s nothing complimentary about a cheese simile when describing a singer.  And she is quite a singer. She is a trained musician, like so many singers, she plays piano and from what I read, she got into singing as a way to help finance her musical education.

Even though she sings originals (not too memorable), bluesy things, well-aged pop like Paul Simon (there’s that well-aged again), and assiduously finds off-the-beaten-path songs, I only sit up straight for her Brazilian and jazz numbers.  Brazilian suits her like a glove and most of the jazz tunes especially, as there is some room for the unexpected, the discovery, the new, in other words.

I finally got to hear her in person, at the venerable Blue Note, with a trio that was serviceable but not exciting (read:  where’s the unexpected, the discovery, the new?)  And on the night I heard her, at least, she was professional, but I kind of suspect she was phonin’ it in.  Well, the poor woman looked tired. Her sharp spiked heels, black leather skintight pants, helmet hair and sharp shoulders were battle-hardened but not about to take on more than she had to.

She is a very very good musician, with chops to spare, but it is the deep-sea diver that she could be and was not, that left me wanting more.