By Bob Protzman | Published November 2016
While many of today’s jazz singers are in a forward-looking mode, incorporating a number of contemporary genres and styles, along comes Alyssa Allgood, who heads back to the 1950s and ’60s for her debut album.
In what she calls a tribute to the historic Blue Note record label, Allgood impressively sings, scats and writes original lyrics to tunes composed and performed by Blue Note artists, including Hank Mobley (“Dig Dis”), Joe Chambers (“Mirrors”), Joe Henderson (“If”), Art Blakey (“Moanin’”), Horace Silver (“Peace”) and more.
Allgood, winner of the 2014 DownBeat Magazine Student Music Award for Best Undergraduate Vocal Jazz Soloist, is a winner here, too.
Allgood is a native of Chicago, a city well known for producing outstanding musicians, and she managed to find some all-around terrific players for this outing, including Chris Madsen on tenor saxophone, Dan Chase on organ, Tim Fitzgerald on guitar and Matt Plaskota on drums.
She scores a double with her opening “Watch Me Walk Away,” a contrefact of “Dig Dis” that deals with the prominent issue of when to leave an abusive relationship, and elsewhere shows off her considerable scatting technique.
At this point in her young career, she seems more confident as a scatter than as an interpreter of lyrics, but otherwise, she is well rounded and grounded. Fun to listen to, she can only become more so.
Out Of The Blue: Watch Me Walk Away (Dig Dis); Noticing The Moment (Moment’s Notice); It’s You Or No One; Speak No Evil; Beatrice; Peace; If; Only A Memory (Ceora); Moanin’; Mirrors. (49:41)
Personnel: Alyssa Allgood, vocals; Dan Chase, organ; Tim Fitzgerald, guitar; Chris Madsen, saxophone; Matt Plaskota, drums.