For anyone unfamiliar with her music, Champian Fulton is a delightful surprisea waft of fresh air; a ray of sunshine that can brighten the darkest day.
Fulton is a versatile pianist and singer who ingrains herself into the sentiment of a song. She has depth, emotional pitch and depth that rise to a high degree. It isn't surprising then, that besides leading her own groups in New York City (where she has been based since 2003), she has also played with Lou Donaldson, Frank Wess and Louis Hayes.
The Breeze and I, her third album, finds her in fine form on 13 standards. The choices give her plenty of room to stamp her credentials as a substantial and stylistic performer. Fulton sets the tone with the gently swinging "Exactly Like You," her phrasing neat, the emphasis fitting in perfectly. Her piano adds to the joyous sense of discovery as she rides the melody with verve.
The blues are ripe for the picking on "I Can't Face the Music," and Fulton finds the vein into which she can filter a welter of pain. Her voice captures every nuance to elevate the song to a captivating highone that gets added power from her plaintive piano. She then turns in some stunning work as a pianist, as she romps across the break of "Day In Day Out" at fever pitch, rolling out a lode of ideas that complement her vocal delivery. The instrumental title track cements her approach; her playing sparkling, as she references the melody and then takes it to a new home where it jumps and swings. Bassist Neal Miner and drummer Fukushi Tainaka abet the comportment, making this tune absolutely irresistible.
Fulton connects to the soul on this very commendable CD.
Track Listing: Exactly Like You; Day In, Day Out; Land's End; The Sheik of Araby; The One I Love Belongs to Someone Else; Say it Isn't So; The Breeze and I; I'm Gonna Lock My Heart and Throw Away the Key; I'm Confessin'; Easy to Love; I Can't Face the Music; My Heart Stood Still; If I Had You.
I grew up listening to my father's Jazz records and listening to radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy
I grew up listening to my father's Jazz records and listening to radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy. So music and jazz specifically have been a part of me since I was born. I love and perform in all styles of music from around the world. Improvisation in jazz is what drew me in, and still does as well as other genres that feature improvisation. A group of great musicians expressing themselves as one is the hallmark of great jazz and in fact all great music.