I met vocalist Karrin Allyson for this B&A just before her sold-out appearance at the Kennedy Center. Like an experienced road warrior, she arrived in town without a moment to spare, gave herself a minute to put her bags in her room, and then joined me for this in-depth listening session. She was relieved that she didn’t have to give stars for each record.
1. Maxine Sullivan
“Massachusetts” (from A Tribute To Andy Razaf, DCC Jazz). Recorded in 1956. Sullivan, vocals; Charlie Shavers, trumpet; Buster Bailey, clarinet; Jerome Richardson, saxophone; Dick Hyman, piano; Milt Hinton, bass; Osie Johnson, drums.
BEFORE: Well, I guess it’s Ella, but it sure didn’t sound like her at first. [listens more] No, I don’t know this voice. It sounds like the 1940s. It’s delightful. She’s great-her time, her personality. I mean she swings like crazy. Whoever she is I love her. Wonderful swinging band behind her. I’m stumped. Never heard the tune, either. She has a little of Ella’s sound to her. Cool.
AFTER: Yeah, this is a singer I need to know more about. A lot of folks that I admire love her too. She sounds very classic to me. Like if anyone asked what a jazz singer sounds like, I’d put her on. It’s so swinging and her pitch is great.