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Kimberly 'KC' Allison "Beyond Blue"

Kimberly "KC" Allison
"Beyond Blue"
Starliner Music

CD review by Roger-Z (11/25/04)

Don't let the picture fool you, Kimberly "KC" Allison, can really throw down. A thoughtful amalgam of instrumental blues, rock, jazz, and fusion, this CD most closely resembles Jeff Beck's breakthrough "Blow By Blow." Though slightly more introspective and laidback than Beck, Ms. Allison knows how to grab a note and playfully squeeze, tease, and sustain it until it just can't hold out any longer.

The album transports the listener from Chicago blues ("Conversation with Kings" and "Mad Cow"), through Jimmy Smith jazz swing ("Between The Dots"), on to Gil Parris soul-jazz ("Spam's Jam", "Next of Kim", and "Turn Off the Jukebox"), past Mahavishnu fusion ("Beyond Blue"), and terminates with a giant Beck-like ballad ("Still Remember"). Backed by a capable but never intrusive rhythm section consisting of Mike Mowen on bass, Greg Stewart on drums, and Alicia Morgan on keys, Ms. Allison seduces the listener with a firm but subtle tone. Not afraid to grab from an extensive "bag of tricks," she never lets techinque get in the way of communicating. Every note journeys directly from Ms. Allison's fingers to your heart. Yeah, she's manipulative, but it feels so good! Standout tracks include the spunky "Spam's Jam," the rock-hard "Next of Kim," and the teary "Still Remember."

This promising newcomer manages to avoid the "sophmore slump" with creativity and style. They say women reach their prime at 40. That leaves Ms. Allison plenty of time to conjure up even more potent music.

2004 Roger-Z