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Jazz Review: Carmen Lundy-Soul To Soul

By Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Founder

Carmen Lundy's 14th albumSoul To Soul album features 11 of 13 songs written, co-written or arranged by Lundy. It also features the many stellar talents of guest artists such as Patrice Rushen, Geri Allen, Randy Brecker, Mayra Casales, South African vocalist Simphiwe Dana, Bennie Maupin, Carol Robbins, Ada Rovatti and Warren Wolf along with core rhythm section members Darryl Hall and Jamison Ross.

Besides providing excellent vocals Lundy plays guitar, piano and Rhodes as well as drums on 2 tracks. The title Soul To Soul is very appropriate once you hear the music and lyrics. Lundy’s vocal style ebbs and flows like the waves of the ocean. I do not listen to traditional jazz like I used to and have to say I really miss it and this album reminded me of that joy. Her phrasing is spot on and she hits all the highs and lows that any good jazz vocalist should.

“Kindred Spirits” moves right along at a brisk pace serving as a fantastic opener that sets the stage for what is to come. The track is the full embodiment of jazz and the musicianship is superb. Her vocal style reminded me of the great Ella Fitzgerald in her prime. It is more of a traditional jazz vocal track with a modern twist. The following track “Life Is a Song in Me” has a funkier backbeat and a totally different atmosphere than its predecessor. This is an indication of the versatility of the artist and I appreciated it. Then coming again from entirely different place, the title track “Soul to Soul,” slows down the pace and Lundy brings the vocals home from the bottom of her heart delivered right to you, just like the track says, from “Soul to Soul.”                                                                 

When you first hear this album you are thinking that a lot of the tracks sound like jazz classics only to find out that 11 of the tracks are originals. This is a credit to the ladies craft. Most certainly this album is a triumph and critics and fans alike will likely agree. I can say in all honesty that I think this recording is a classic of the genre. Just like Lundy sings in “Daybreak,” – “hurry up sunrise don’t make me wait.” Her sunshine is just around the corner waiting to bring all the success that this wonderful album can initiate. The track is another one of my favorites because it reminds me of more traditional jazz and big band music from the 1940’s era. 

Thanks to Soul to Soul my love for jazz has returned and will have me reaching for some of the classic albums in my collection.

5/5 Stars

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