Hardcore bop and jazz standards are reimagined by vocalist Alyssa Allgood on her recording, Out of the Blue, where she presents refreshed arrangements of classic swing tunes by such notables as Art Blakey and Sam Rivers. All of the songs had their beginnings as instrumentals recorded on the Blue Note Records label. Allgood adds original lyrics to the tracks, adding another level to the songs’ character.
Sleek and sensual, Allgood’s vocals wrap around the bopping grooves of “Watch Me Walk Away,” imprinting a swing jazz glitter to the gentle thrumming of the Hammond organ that rustles along the base of the melody. “Only a Moment” resonates a Latin swing vibrancy, imbuing the track with a festive bossa nova atmosphere reminiscent of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s signature piece, “The Girl from Ipanema.” She muses with a dreamy lilt in her vocals, “I’m drifting rapidly / Lost in a daze / Nostalgic in all so many ways / And it plays all over again / Until you’re right back here with me / Loving you the way you were meant to be.”
Allgood performs the lyrics with tenderly strewn aplomb in “Peace.” Her cool temperament gives the track poise and maturity that is reminiscent of Gigi MacKenzie. Never over-exaggerating or overly dramatizing the words but delivering them with ease of breath, Allgood charms her audience, enabling listeners to discern her attachment to an era that relished softly stated romances and heartaches. The Latin accent in the rhythmic pattern of “Noticing the Moment” gives the number a light swaying shimmy that turns to a bopping beat through “It’s You or No One” as Allgood intersperses lively scat along the jaunty melody. The jumping bluesy swagger of “Moanin'” has a hot jazz glint, while “Mirrors” closes the recording with a relaxing torchlight kindle.
Allgood learned from her predecessors how to tap into her own voice and feel comfortable in it. Sedate and expressive, Allgood bridges the openness of the 20th century’s hardcore bop with the soothing melodic sensibilities of the 21st century. The mixture is a complementing blend with a new vision for jazz bop.
“Watch Me Walk Away,” “Noticing the Moment,” “It’s You or No One,” “Speak No Evil,” “Beatrice,” “Peace,” “If,” “Only a Memory,” “Moanin’,” “Mirrors”