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Allison Tartalia

Country of origin:


Type of music generally:

Jazzy evocative/eclectic beautiful & fierce alternative pop/contemporary folk,


Most recent release, Sweet and Vicious (as Allison's Invention, 2011)

See also:

Allison Tartalia's site


Her voice has echoes of Susan James and the songwriting echoes of Laura Nyro and Ani DiFranco

Covers/own material:


General comments:

Passionate, dramatic, and articulate, Allison Tartalia's songwriting drawns in threads from all over to create an intense, intelligent whole. (

Recommended first album:

Ready is the only one we've heard


  • Ready (2002)
  • Sweet and Vicious (as Allison's Invention, 2011)


Release info:

2002—Mark Haste! Records, P.O. Box 5667, Astoria, NY 11105-5667, USA


See website for availability

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Allison Tartalia—vocals, guitar, piano

Guest artists:

Mike McGinnis—sax
Lori Bingel—bass, tuba
Mark Dodge—drums, djembe
Sean Moran—electric guitar on 6 tracks Brian Drye—trombone on 3 tracks
Jeff Hermanson—trumpet on 2 tracks, flugelhorn on 1 track
Steve Vavagiakis—doumbek and tambourine on 1 track

Produced by:

Mike McGinnis and Allison Tartalia


This is an album full of different, distinct moments. The first track, "let it go" reminds me at times of Robin Holcomb and at others of Susan James, mostly vocally. "Dorothy's reply" sounds like a jazzy Ani DiFranco-style song. "ready" has a particularly interesting contruction, which piano parts and and anguished ones. There are more mainstream songs like "frost" (a ballad) and "absolutely fabulous" which references the British comedy. The songwriting and instrumentation feels varied through this album, but also connected, as do the moods of the songs. She has range, intriguing lyrics, good instrumentation and an interesting voice. Definitely worth checking out! (

Further info:


Thanks to Sophia Gurley for work on this entry.

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2014-03-28 00:57:41.
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