207

Champian Fulton: Sometimes I'm Happy

Ken Dryden By

Sign in to view read count
Champian Fulton: Sometimes I'm Happy The daughter of jazz trumpeter Stephen Fulton, Champian Fulton had plenty of early exposure to the music through her father. She began piano lessons at the age of five and as she grew interested in singing as well, she began accompanying herself.

Fulton is a refreshing change from many of the singing jazz pianists of the past two decades, as she excels in both areas while never resorting simply to doing the minimum to get by in her interpretation of standards. She builds on the success of her 2007 debut Champian (Such Sweet Thunder), when she was backed by David Berger's Sultans of Swing. But this time it's a trio date with bassist Neal Miner and drummer Fukushi Tainaka, Fulton playing and singing a dozen timeless pieces that were penned long before her birth in 1985.

While Fulton's voice is youthful, her vocals often incorporate the touches of a veteran, including a defiant interpretation of "When Your Lover Has Gone" that has a sassiness reminiscent of Carmen McRae along with her superb vocal inflections and bebop chops in her driving setting of "September in the Rain." Fulton also masters slow ballads, such as Duke Ellington's powerful "All Too Soon," in which she communicates the sorrow of lost love desiring a reunion as if she has lived the lyrics. The one piece that is not as well known is "Whistling Away the Dark" (a superb ballad by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercerr, performed in waltz time), which Fulton skillfully interprets as if it has been a part of her repertoire since she began singing. The closing track features Fulton singing "Tea For Two" over Miner's walking bass, before she and Tainaka join him for a swinging instrumental break. Fulton is a gifted musician who is deserving of wider recognition.

Track Listing: When Your Lover Has Gone; Just Squeeze Me; Pennies From Heaven; All Too Soon; Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams; It's All Right With Me; September in the Rain; He's Funny That Way; Sometimes I'm Happy; Darn That Dream; Whistling Away the Dark; Tea For Two.

Personnel: Champian Fulton: piano, vocals; Neal Miner: bass; Fukushi Tainaka: drums.

Title: Sometimes I'm Happy | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Venus Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read The Crave CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub) CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965 CD/LP/Track Review Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Two Roads" CD/LP/Track Review Two Roads
by Jim Olin
Published: May 12, 2017
Read "Away With You" CD/LP/Track Review Away With You
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Calvins Toboggan" CD/LP/Track Review Calvins Toboggan
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "This Could Be That" CD/LP/Track Review This Could Be That
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 2, 2016
Read "The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review The Unknown
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Storyteller" CD/LP/Track Review Storyteller
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 5, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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