Straight No Chaser - A Jazz Show : Podcast 448: A Conversation with Carmen Lundy
One of the most criminally overlooked vocalists in jazz may just be ready to get some overdue attention. Although she was featured on the Grammy winning CD The Mosaic Project by Terri Lyne Carrington, Carmen Lundy is often left off the list of top female performers of today.
Backed by a myriad of special guests Including Patrice Rushen, Geri Allen, Randy Brecker, Simphiwe Dana, Bennie Maupin, Carol Robbins, and Warren Wolf, she is releasing Soul To Soul, a passionate new song cycle on Afrasia Productions on September 22nd. Soul To Soul is Ms. Lundy’s 14th album, and in many ways is the next chapter in her critically-acclaimed career as a singer, songwriter, and producer; and a visual artist. Call it a return to her roots, but also an exploration of these roots
The journey to make the CD found Carmen literally composing, co-composing and arranging eleven of the thirteen tracks and then playing and recording all the instruments - including bass, drums, piano, guitar and percussion - in her home studio to get a working “feel” for how the music might sound. She then “sweetened” the songs by adding string sounds and other software instruments to elaborate and experiment with the aural mood of each track, interpreting and identifying with each track’s sound individually as well as part of the overall song sequence. On the final CD, Lundy plays guitar on all tracks, piano and Rhodes on many tracks, and drums on two.
“I wrote the music with specific players in mind for each respective instrument,” says Lundy. “My producer and label co-owner Elisabeth Oei encouraged me to reach out to those musicians whose music I have loved and have been inspired by; some of whom I had worked with but never recorded with. I consider these artists specialists on their instruments. These are players who bring a distinctive sound to everything they play and add another layer of individuality to my original music.”
Patrice Rushen, for example, is featured on nearly every track on “Soul To Soul” because of the deep musical connection Carmen felt with her. “I could hear her sound in my music,” says Lundy, “Patrice creates these beautiful sonic palettes from which I could soar freely through the music. This project would not be as special to me if it were not for her incredible contribution.”
Podcast 448 is our conversation, featuring musical selections from Soul to Soul, including "Grateful, Pt.1", "Kindred Spirits", "Daybreak" and "Sardegna".