One of the more impressive jazz singers to emerge in the '90s, Karrin Allyson is a great scat singer but also highly expressive on ballads. Born in Great Bend, Kansas, Allyson grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and the San Francisco Bay Area -- during which time she began taking classical piano lessons, in addition to performing as a folksinger and in an all-female rock band, Tomboy. Upon graduating from the University of Nebraska in 1987 (and receiving a degree in piano), Allyson sang regularly at a Kansas City nightclub owned by her uncle, a locale Allyson decided to settle down in and call her permanent home base. Signed to the Concord Jazz label, in 1992 Allyson issued her debut, I Didn't Know About You, which led to such accolades as being name-checked in Playboy's Annual Reader's Poll alongside such greats as Ella Fitzgerald and Shirley Horn. Subsequently, Allyson assembled a fine backing band consisting of fellow Kansas City musicians: pianist Paul Smith, guitarists Danny Embrey and Rod Fleeman, bassist Bob Bowman, and drummer Todd Strait, who have played on the majority of her recordings.
Over the years, Allyson has performed at some of the top concert halls in the U.S., including an all-star tribute to Ella Fitzgerald at New York's Carnegie Hall, in addition to playing alongside both the Kansas City and Omaha symphonies. In 2008 Allyson released Imagina: Songs of Brasil, interpreting the songs of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Edú Lobo, Torquato Neto, and Pedro Caetano. She toured the recording for the next year before taking a break. In 2010 she began recording collection of jazz, pop, and Broadway standards entitled 'Round Midnight, where she cut tunes by everyone from Duke Ellington and Stephen Sondheim to Paul Simon and Bill Evans. The album marked the first time in her recording career that she played all the keyboards on the set. It was issued in 2011 by Concord Jazz. ~ Scott Yanow & Greg Prato, Rovi