This is the one.
Of all the guest stars featured in this year's heightened Silver Anniversary celebration of the Buffalo News Jazz at the Albright-Knox series on the gallery's back steps, the one that stirred jazz cognoscenti and disc buyers the most is Sunday's appearance by singer Karrin Allyson, whose discs on Concord are much-loved best-sellers.
She has long been the critic's darling in Diana Krall's generation of jazz singers for the most obvious of reasons: The performing category she falls into is "What's not to love?" She is lovely, earthy, soulful, supremely musical, smart and sometimes heartbreakingly sweet to boot.
Of all the heartland jazz singers (she's originally from Kansas City), she is, as the crass saying goes, "the total package." Beyond that, when she says "I'm a woman of my own mind" in interviews, she's not engaging in chest-thumping rhetoric; she has got a shelf of terrific Concord discs to back her up. Each one is different from the others.
She has appeared in Buffalo twice before, to enormous audience affection each time. She'll come to the News Jazz at the Albright-Knox series beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Put it this way: No matter how sunny the day, if the sun comes out at all on Sunday, it will have competition.
-- Jeff Simon