Vocalist Karrin Allyson loves visiting Seattle’s Jazz Alley every year — and we love seeing her — but even she would admit that the Emerald City doesn’t quite compare to where she’s been recently — a jazz cruise on the Mediterranean, with stops in Monte Carlo, Marseilles and Rome. Allyson was keeping pretty great company at sea, too, with a front line that included reed player Anat Cohen, trumpeter Randy Brecker and trombonist Wycliffe Gordon.
But hey, that was then, this is now. The always-swinging Kansas City-spawned singer, whose fetchingly hoarse alto is a ringer for the voice of another Allyson — the actor, June — is bringing the usual suspects to town — Rod Fleeman (guitar), Bruce Barth (piano), Jeff Johnson (bass) and Todd Strait (drums) — but don’t be surprised if, in addition to standbys such as “O Pato,” “Robert Frost” and “Turnaround,” she also tosses in some holiday fare from her album “Yuletide Hideaway.”
Heartfelt, warm and cozy, but buoyantly jazzy, with Wurlitzer and Hammond B-3 backups and a dollop of scat singing, it’s a terrific addition to the holiday CD tray. Allyson essays some unfamiliar tunes, such as Chris Caswell’s moving “Winter Oasis” and Daniel Joseph Cerveny’s haunting “This Time of Year,” as well as old favorites “Winter Wonderland” and “The Christmas Song.”
OK, so the weather isn’t exactly Mediterranean here this time of year. Have a salad niçoise and a glass of Gavi and try to pretend.
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30-Sunday, Nov. 2, plus 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., Seattle; $24.50 (206-441-9729 or jazzalley.com).