3

Champian Fulton: After Dark

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
Champian Fulton: After Dark Veteran New York pianist and vocalist Champian Fulton offers another recording of time-honored standards on After Dark, except this particular effort focuses on the music of the Queen of the Blues, the music of the great Dinah Washington, who was her first major vocalist influence early on in her life. Though she grew up listening to Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday and Helen Humes among others, it was the sound of Dinah's voice that left the biggest impression and this album, is her tribute, her musical tip of the hat to her childhood idol. Her goal, to produce a recording that makes one smile and feel good which this album, certainly does, her recommendation, to listen to it After Dark.

On tap here, are songs from the past by great American songwriters such as Irving Berlin, Fats Waller, Sammy Fain, Johnny Mercer and others. The only original on the eleven-song program, is an instrumental piece featuring Ms. Fulton on a splendid piano solo performance on the album's finale "Midnight Stroll." Presenting the music is a formidable quartet led by the pianist that includes Fulton's father, trumpeter and educator Stephen Fulton. The other half of the band is comprised of jazz luminaries' drummer Lewis Nash and bassist David Williams.

The 1929 jazz standard by Waller and Harry Brooks, "Ain't Misbehavin' "starts the program off followed by the Fain classic "That Old Feeling," coming off in swinging fashion as Fulton and the band play it straight and furious with nice chops on the piano by the leader demonstrating her prowess on the instrument as well as strong bass line work by Williams. Originally penned in Spanish by Mexican songwriter Maria Grever, "What a Difference a Day Made" was popularized by Washington and is performed here in a sweet and sensuous style made so by the pianist's sultry vocals.

The Berlin classic "Blue Skies" has some significance to both the pianist and her father, one of Washington's most popular oft-recorded songs from 1954, the late great trumpeter Clark Terry, performed on the horn at the time and this time, dad Stephen—long-time Terry protégé—plays the song on the flugelhorn as his daughter does her best interpretation of her idol. "A Bad Case of the Blues" was one of the reason's Washington was referred to as the Queen of the genre and here, Fulton sings the standard with a lot of soul.

Noel Coward's slow, down tempo "Mad About the Boy," gets a delicious treatment here with the vocalists' sensuous approach the reason why while, the oft-recorded 1931 song by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons, "All of Me," an eternal swinger, does not lose any of its luster here as Fulton sings it beautifully as well as delivering a solid solo on the keys for one of the keepers of the set. An album worth spinning anytime of the day, Champian Fulton's After Dark is a warm and beautiful homage to Dinah Washington containing more than its share of wonderful moments.

Track Listing: Ain't Misbehavin'; That Old Feeling; What a Difference a Day Made; Blue Skies; Keepin' Out of Mischief Now; A Bad Case of the Blues; Travelin' Light; Mad About the Boy; All of Me; Baby Won't You Please Come Home; Midnight Stroll.

Personnel: Champian Fulton: piano, vocals; David Williams: bass; Lewis Nash: drums; Stephen Fulton: trumpet, flugelhorn (1, 4, 6, 7).

Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Gut String Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Oaktree CD/LP/Track Review Oaktree
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Green With Envy CD/LP/Track Review Green With Envy
by James Nadal
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Luma CD/LP/Track Review Luma
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 28, 2017
Read My Foolish Heart CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Ha Noi Duo CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "A Secret Sigh" CD/LP/Track Review A Secret Sigh
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Ready Take One" CD/LP/Track Review Ready Take One
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "Porcupine Meat" CD/LP/Track Review Porcupine Meat
by James Nadal
Published: September 29, 2016
Read "Pineapples and Ashtrays" CD/LP/Track Review Pineapples and Ashtrays
by James Nadal
Published: May 8, 2016
Read "Butterflies Fly in Pairs" CD/LP/Track Review Butterflies Fly in Pairs
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 22, 2016
Read "Starer" CD/LP/Track Review Starer
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!