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Sweet Melodies

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Allison Scull and Victor Martin have three albums to their credit and are ready to release a new one. Photo courtesy of Kathi Corder
 Posted: 9:10 AM August 08, 2013

Allison Scull and Victor Martin's forthcoming, yet-to-be-titled album is an expansion of the duo's laid-back, funky Latin grooves.

In the words of lyricist Irving Mills, "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing."

Martin says that his fingers, toes and eyes are crossed, hoping the album will be done by this fall. In the meantime, the pair is working on a second project, a compilation of original songs in Spanish, and touring Southern Oregon.

If you go

Who: Allison Scull and Victor Martin

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9

Where: The Playwright Public House, 258 A St., Ashland

Cover: Free

Call: 541-488-9128

The duo will present its sweet melodies (in English and French) at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9., at The Playwright Public House, 258 A St., Ashland. The show are free.

Scull was a folk singer long before she discovered her capacity for jazz. Martin, a jazz and R&B musician, first heard her perform an old bed and breakfast in Dunsmuir, Calif. He started showing up to her gigs when she was in the area and, eventually, Scull asked him to contribute his warm saxophone lines to her 1998 debut, "Allison St."

It was a winning combination and the beginning of a lasting collaboration. After more than 10 years and three albums, Scull says she and Martin are more and more in sync than ever.

Their musical compatibility will show itself on the new, 10-track album, being recorded in Los Angeles with a full band that includes Tom Stamper on drums, Grant Levin on piano and Stefan Schittko on keyboards.

The album is a magnification of the jazz, funk, blues and Latin styles featured on the duo's earlier albums — "Allison and Victor Live" (2008), "From the Back Burner" (2006) and "Cool Like the Breeze" (2010) — and features a French song, as well as a call-and-response arrangement ("Haunting Green Heaven"), in which Scull's vocals are mirrored by the sax, guitar and keyboard. All the songs are original except for "Day by Day" from the musical "Godspell" and "Dream A Little Dream of Me," which has been covered by Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby and many others.

The duo's second project includes songs from its former albums.

"A record label liked our songs, liked the Latin flavor and the message, and suggested we do a Spanish version," Scull says.

"We're lucky we're using the same studio for the two projects," Martin adds. "It gets a little crazy sometimes."

For its Southern Oregon shows, the pair will play new and old material, and "just when people think they have us figured out, we pull out a folk song," Allison says.

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