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Four-Time Grammy Nominee Karrin Allyson Sets Rodgers & Hammerstein CD Release, Featuring the Rare Pairing of Kenny Barron on Piano and John Patitucci on Bass; Out 9/18 on Motéma
(Published: June 25, 2015)

June 25, 2015

Four-Time Grammy Nominee Karrin Allyson Sets Rodgers & Hammerstein CD Release, Featuring the Rare Pairing of Kenny Barron on Piano and John Patitucci on Bass; Out 9/18 on Motéma

Four-time Grammy nominee, singer/pianist Karrin Allyson, has confirmed the 9/18 release of ‘Many a New Day (Karrin Allyson Sings Rodgers & Hammerstein)'. The 14-song collection features Allyson's romantic, sly and swinging take on songs that have become part of our cultural fabric, from ‘Oh, What a Beautiful Morning' to ‘Happy Talk' to ‘I Cain't Say No' and numerous others. A full track listing follows. The collection, which marks the singer's debut on the Motéma label, features the distinctive pairing of Kenny Barron on piano and John Patitucci on bass (only the second time the two have recorded together.)

‘Many a New Day' is Allyson's first release with Motéma. "I'm excited to join this great label and debut with this incredible project. I feel powerfully drawn to the world of Rodgers and Hammerstein, because of the classic American stories and the gorgeous melodies. It's near perfect music."  

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein's legendary musical partnership is among the greatest of the 20th century, resulting in such seminal Broadway productions as The King and I, South Pacific, Sound of Music, Oklahoma and Carousel. With her distinctive vocals, Allyson takes an array of these beloved songs on an elegant, intimate and joyful ride. Her arrangements, impeccably performed by Barron and Patitucci, manage to infuse these musical theater gems with a spare, sophisticated and intimate vibe that recalls the wee-hours in a late night Paris jazz club.

"I first got the idea to do this while watching an "American Masters" program on about Oscar Hammerstein. I was so moved by his personal life, such a decent man, who stood up for his beliefs... and wrote about them in his lyrics. (Yes-- they are so tremendously romantic too). I realized that now would be a perfect time to do these songs - innocent yet wise, hopeful yet nobody's fool, calling us ever forward to be decent human beings. Sadly, the song ‘You've Got To Be Carefully Taught," from South Pacific (a musical that was written with the intention to fight racism) still resonates all too well today."  Karrin talks more about the project here: http://aiartists.com/wp-content/uploads/KA-Rodgers-Hammerstein.pdf

Motéma's CEO/Founder Jana Herzen shares, "I'm really moved by what this great ensemble has created. Like so many of us, I grew up with these songs, so they are like old friends who get a subtle but fantastic makeover here. The swing and the blend of Karrin, Kenny and John together is pure confection, and I think Karrin's idea to do this was brilliant. The music fits her perfectly; the songs are relevant; and it's a great way to honor the 50th Anniversary of "The Sound of Music" which is marked this year. What really surprised both Karrin and me is that we can find no record of another jazz singer putting a collection like this together before."

Recorded at Sear Sound in New York City on May 1st & 2nd, 2015, ‘Many a New Day' is arranged by Allyson, executive produced by Jana Herzen and produced by Allyson in association with Grammy® Award-winner Michael Leonhart, known for his work with Steely Dan, Bobby McFerrin and most recently with Bruno Mars. Complete liner notes written by Alyson are attached.

More about Singer/Pianist Karrin Allyson:
Four consecutive Allyson albums - Ballads: Remembering John Coltrane (2001), Footprints (2006), Imagina: Songs of Brasil (2008), and 'Round Midnight (2011) - received Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Vocal Album. ‘'Round Midnight,' her 2011 breakout album, received 5 Stars in Downbeat and earned raves in USA Today, Wall Street Journal, NY Times, NPR, Associated Press, JazzTimes, Jazziz and scores of other publications. In 2013, Allyson was voted the #1 Rising Star Female Vocalist in the DownBeat 61st Annual Critics Poll. In 2014, her independent release ‘Yuletide Hideaway' garnered coverage from top magazines and newspapers in America. She signed to Motéma in April, 2015.

Visit http://www.karrin.com/press/ for clickable links to prior press coverage.
Karrin Allyson Updated Tour Dates: http://www.karrin.com/events/
Visit www.karrin.com http://www.karrin.com/
Visit www.motema.com
Visit https://www.facebook.com/KarrinAllyson

‘Many a New Day (Karrin Allyson Sings Rodgers & Hammerstein)'

Out 9/18 on Motéma

Full track listing & Liner Notes By Karrin Allyson

1. Oh, What A Beautiful Morning
2. Many A New Day
3. Happy Talk
4. I Cain't Say No
5. I Have Dreamed
6. Out Of My Dreams
7. Bali H'ai
8. When I Think Of Tom/Hello Young Lovers
9. We Kiss In A Shadow
10. You've Got To Be Carefully Taught
11. Something Wonderful
12. Surrey With A Fringe On Top
13. Something Good
14. Edelweiss
iTunes Bonus track: This Nearly Was Mine

Booklet Liner Notes - by Karrin Allyson:
I've been singing these songs all my life, and as a kid, I didn't know who had written them, I just knew that I loved them and they came bubbling out at any given time. It seems strange that this is the first time I've recorded any of them, but life has its funny twists and turns...

When I was still in my teens in Oakland, California, I sang the role of Nellie Forbush in South Pacific. Very soon after, I dove deep into the jazz world and never looked back.

I got the idea for this project last year while watching an American Masters program on public television about Oscar Hammerstein. I was so moved by his personal life, such a decent man, who stood up for his beliefs... and wrote about them in his lyrics. (Yes-- they are so tremendously romantic too,)

I realized that now would be a perfect time to do these songs - innocent yet wise, hopeful yet nobody's fool, calling us ever forward to be decent human beings. And now, instead of being drawn only to 'ingenue' parts-- I'm finding myself relating to roles of a different time of life, and gender in some cases!

Hammerstein's lyrics are so brilliant and universal, and the melodies of Richard Rodgers are nothing short of genius. I'm so happy to have these beautiful songs back in my life... and to play them with a rhythm section that's truly a dream come true. Kenny Barron and John Patitucci bring pure musicality and so much heart to every note along the way. It was really bliss working with them. And it was so much fun picking out tunes and coming up with arrangements for the songs on this album with Michael Leonhart, who was also a dream to work with. Here's a few thoughts about the songs that made the cut:

1. Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin': In the opening scene of Oklahoma! a lone cowboy, Gordon MacRae (in the movie), is riding through the corn fields singing this song. It was one of the first times a musical did not open up with a crowd singing the opener-- it's so innocent, and hopeful-- and later, the great Ray Charles got a hold of it-- so, I didn't touch it for a while. My arrangement has a grateful nod to New Orleans groove in the body of the tune, and Kenny's solo is so soulful and elegant.

2. Many a New Day
Also from Oklahoma! - all the young ladies in the "resting" room are taking a break getting ready for the day's festivities - Laurey (played in the movie by the amazing Shirley Jones) is in denial about being in love with Curly -- but in a healthy way to me! A simple swing feel felt just right on this.

3. Happy Talk: Bloody Mary in South Pacific (played in the movie by the wonderful Juanita Hall) is a favorite character (of everyone's!) ...she tries so hard to make a good life for her daughter Liat -- singing this song to her and her hopeful son-in-law Lieutenant Cable. But the match is not to be, for he has unfortunately been "carefully taught."

4. I Cain't Say No: Back to Oklahoma! Here's a role I'd love to play: Ado Annie! (portrayed so wonderfully by Gloria Grahame in the movie) In this arrangement I hoped to convey - in less of a Broadway/cabaret way (more casbah!) - exactly what it says...Let's be clear though-- NO means NO. But I am definitely a person who happens to be a girl, who happens to like to have fun-- and sometimes stays out too late, sometimes has regrets, but not very many.

5. I Have Dreamed: from The King and I - this melody knocks me out - and the sensuousness in the lyrics that comes with it put more current images of desire to shame. Michael Leonhart reminded me of the sweet verse (which he discovered on Doris Day's beautiful version) so we included it... quite romantic indeed. In the film, the beautiful Rita Moreno is being serenaded by her lover.

6. Out of My Dreams: from Oklahoma! The scene is "Laurey's Dream Ballet" in the film, and the very scary Rod Steiger is threatening to steal her away from her true love Curly... John plays a great solo here.

7. Bali Ha'i; another Bloody Mary song from South Pacific. I love what this song evokes. First, the picture of a lonely person on a lonely island in the middle of a foggy sea-- but we all long for another, better place. I get to visit Hawaii quite often, and I envision that beautiful place when I sing this song... quite a paradise in my mind.

8. When I Think of Tom / Hello Young Lovers: from The King and I - acted by Deborah Kerr in the movie, but sung by the great Marni Nixon. Miss Anna is reminiscing about her husband Tom, who has died. I love this melody, and wanted to place it just in the way the film did - as a 'verse' if you will to "Hello Young Lovers" in which Anna, an experienced woman, is wishing all the younger lovers well in the world, and bidding them not to lose heart.

9. We Kiss in a Shadow: from The King and I. Forbidden love! Always tempting,
but in the case of this couple, their love affair is ill-fated and strictly forbidden as Tuptim was really a slave to the King. Anna pleads with the King to do the right thing, to live and let live... so, they kiss in a shadow.

10. You've Got to Be Carefully Taught: From South Pacific. Lieutenant Cable sings this to Emile De Becque trying to explain how prejudice comes about. Emile doesn't understand and asks, "Is it something you are born with?" And Cable responds with the amazing Hammerstein lyrics "You've got to be taught, to hate and fear, You've got to be taught, from year to year, It's got to be drummed in your dear little ear -- You've got to be carefully taught!" For this arrangement, I envisioned myself as a sort of "Sporting Life" character from Porgy and Bess (the character who's gonna really hip you to what's going on), so the blues seemed a natural choice.

11. Something Wonderful: from The King and I. This melody, too, has always knocked me out, and I never hear it out there! In this scene, Lady Chang sings to Miss Anna about the King...entreating her to try to understand this complex man. Relationships aren't easy, and in musicals-- that's not often dealt with. My arrangement seemed to work mostly in 5/4 (for those of you counting) ...but the bridge is played in 4/4. There's a respectful quote to "March of the Siamese Children" at the end, which I've always wanted to utilize somewhere!

12. The Surrey with the Fringe on Top: from Oklahoma! Most jazzers have, at some point, played with this tune, especially be-boppers. It's fun! My arrangement didn't seem to want to stay in one place for long...modulating up here and there, in the middle of phrases. These changes are challenging to sing and play over, but not for Kenny and John-- they make it sound effortless and Kenny's addition of playing the verse up front makes this so joyful. And... I learned a new word: Isinglass: "A pure, transparent or translucent form of gelatin obtained from the air bladders of certain fish, especially the sturgeon. Used in glue and jellies and as a clarifying agent." Now you know!

13. Something Good: from The Sound of Music... Did you wonder if I'd ever get here? Arguably, the most popular of the Rodgers and Hammerstein's collaborations. The inimitable Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer were a perfect match. Sung together in the gazebo scene, it's such a 'sleeper' of a song... It's always stayed with me -- John plays a beautiful solo here. I dedicate this to my sweetie, Bill.

14. Edelweiss: also from The Sound of Music. We end the CD with this sweet little waltz. Initially, I intended all three of us to perform it, but everyone urged me (even Kenny!) to sing and play it alone; so I did! In the musical and the movie the song is sung by Captain von Trapp and his family as a statement of Austrian patriotism in the face of the pressures of Nazi Germany following the Anschluss. The Captain's farewell to his beloved homeland is symbolized by a pure, white flower. In the film there is also a scene with this song where the Captain rediscovers music with his children. Rediscovering music with children is how I think of it-- and also a bit of patriotism. In a perfect world, we'd all be proud of our countries all of the time... but since there is no perfect world, it's more important than ever to conduct ourselves in a way that helps move the whole planet forward (not backwards!) in the most beautiful way possible.

Thank you for listening,

PS: On the iTunes version of this album there is also a bonus track of our version of "This Nearly Was Mine" from South Pacific.  A wistful song sung by Emile near the end of the musical imagining what might have been if Nellie hadn't been so ‘carefully taught.'   

More Information: http://www.karrin.com/

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