Lyrically inventive, My Favorite Color is the perfect showcase for Jackie Allen!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
A release that was originally intended as a live recording finds Jackie Allen at the very top of her game. Allen had come down with a case of laryngitis before a show so instrumental tracks were subsequently laid down yet went undiscovered until found on a computer hard drive during a move. My Favorite Color has been well worth the wait! This critically acclaimed vocalist explores eight standards that range over a forty year period as well as two originals that could well pass as standards in the lyrical on deck circle.
Soulful yet pristine vocals, Jackie Allen is that rare artist that creates vivid images with but a mere handful of words. A vocal artist. My Favorite Color allows Allen to bring forth every tool from her melodic toolbox including the innate ability to take pop songs such as "Stuck In The Middle With You" and "A House Is Not A Home" and reharm the original withouth mangling the melody. Slightly more experimental riffs include a soul filled take on Joe Zawinful's "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" and a Ella Fitzgerald channeled Jimi Hendrix tune, "Manic Depression." Yes...Jackie Allen makes scatting fun! The arrangements here all embrace the Allen wheelhouse which is no wheelhouse at all. The deconstructed "Born To Blue" is a prime example of an arrangement that can be artfully manipulated while performed and with no loss of artistic integrity.
While inevitable comparisons are tossed out in regard to her last studio release eight years ago, Tangled and My Favorite Color are mere snapshots in time. A vocal artist such as Jackie Allen moves effortlessly through her material. Jackie Allen does more than sing the words, she makes the music. Allen crawls inside a lyric and gets comfortable. My Favorite Color is stunning!
Tracks: Sleepin' Bee; Mercy, Mercy, Mercy; My Man's Gone Now; Blame It On My Youth; Manic Depression; Stuck In The Middle With You; A House Is Not A Home; Diana; Born To Be Blue; Call Me Winter.
Personnel: Jackie Allen: Vocals; John Moulder: Guitars; Ben Lewis Keyboards; Han Sturm: Double Basss; Dane Richardson: Drums / Percussion; Special Guests - Tito Carillo: Trumpet (2,3,5,6); Steve Eisen: Saxophone, Flute (2,3,6,8)