162

Carmen Lundy: Jazz And The New Songbook

Ernest Barteldes By

Sign in to view read count
Unlike many singers, Carmen Lundy does not recycle standards on her latest album, which was captured live at the Madrid Theater in Los Angeles. Instead, the program of new material she wrote (or co-wrote) makes for an unexpected listening experience.

Backed by an eighteen-piece ensemble, Lundy showcases her songs, many of which she premiered here. One immediately arresting track is "Afrasia!, the lyrics of which basically say the word "God in several languages (Hebrew, Hindi, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and others), and whose backing vocals lend a certain spontaneity. Also welcome to the ear is "Wild Child, which expresses an urge to discover one's inner infant.

Lundy's backing ensemble, which includes the LA String Quartet, has a grandiose sound, and the arrangements (also written by Lundy) suit the songs wonderfully. During her residence at Iridium in late February, she was backed by a very tight six-piece band that included two bass players (acoustic and electric).

Lundy stuck mostly to material from the live album, opening with "In Love Again, the smaller band improvising more freely. She also played some newly composed material, dedicating "Heart of Gold to the memory of the late Ray Barretto. The song had a Latinesque feel and lots of space for Cuban percussionist Mayra Casales to show off her skills.

It is hard to understand why Lundy chose to use two basses. (On the record, there is a third, played by Nathan East, who has worked with virtually everyone in the business.) The sound was not more profound, and the only noticeable difference was the increased freedom the bassists had during individual solos.

Jazz and The New Songbook is quite enjoyable, and Lundy's decision not to perform any standards ("There are plenty of them in my previous albums, she said during the Iridium concert) was a daring but wise one. The addition of, say, Gershwin or Cole Porter might have shifted the attention away from her original material.

Track Listing: In Love Again; One More River To Cross; Something To Believe In; Better Days; Where'd It Go; Wild Child; Afrasia!; Happy New Year; Lon Journey Home; You're Not In Love; Old Friend; (I Dream) In Living Color; Firefly; Vu ja De; Good Morning Kiss.

Personnel: Carmen Lundy: vocals; Robert Glasper: piano; Billy Childs:piano; Curtis Lundy: piano; Nathan East: bass; Kenny Davis: bass; Phil Upchurch: bass; Victor Lewis: guitar; Marvin Smith: drums; Mayra Casales: percussion; Steve Turre: trombone, conch shells; Bobby Watson: tenor sax; Mark Shim: alto sax; Krystal Williams: background vocals; Michelina Wright: violin; Albert Romero: violin; Catherine Lamb: viola; Rachel Arnold: cello.

Title: Jazz And The New Songbook | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Afrasia


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
DVD/Film Reviews
Read more articles
Code Noir
Afrasia Productions, Inc.
2017
buy
Night And Day
Afrasia Productions, Inc.
2010
buy
Solamente
Afrasia Productions, Inc.
2009
buy
Come Home
Afrasia Productions, Inc.
2007
buy

More Articles

Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read The Chase CD/LP/Track Review The Chase
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Paint CD/LP/Track Review Paint
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 16, 2017
Read A Pouting Grimace CD/LP/Track Review A Pouting Grimace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 15, 2017
Read Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis CD/LP/Track Review Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis
by Doug Collette
Published: October 15, 2017
Read "Atlantic Bridge" CD/LP/Track Review Atlantic Bridge
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 12, 2017
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 30, 2016
Read "Strong Tea" CD/LP/Track Review Strong Tea
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 27, 2016
Read "Swivel" CD/LP/Track Review Swivel
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "Cross My Palm With Silver" CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.