Soul To Soul Album Review - Winning Spins, Hot House Jazz
By George Kanzler, September 2015
Carmen Lundy, who has been largely writing her own original music since emerging on the scene in the late 1970s, is represented with one of her strongest discs to date.
Soul to Soul, Carmen Lundy (Afrasia), presents 13 tracks, 11 of them written or co-written by Lundy, who also recorded demo versions where she played or mixed in all the instrumental sounds. On the album, which features pictures of her own artwork, she mostly sings but also plays guitar and some keyboards and percussion. In short: this is definitely Lundy’s show. While some of the numbers here have a slick feel akin to smooth or fusion jazz (notably "Kindred Spirits," the opener), at her best, Lundy's appealingly velvety, seductively melodious voice invokes the incantatory spirit of 1970s and 1980s vocal jazz. She makes you believe the message of "Life Is a Song in Me" and can masterfully conjure up exotic auras and sultry moods on songs like the title track; the stunning, hypnotic "When Will They Learn" (don’t miss the devastating last line) and her inspiring duet with South African Simphiwe Dana, "Grace.” The two part "Grateful” showcases Lundy's facility at both modern mode and swing and the closer, Mary Lou Williams’ "What's Your Story Morning Glory," a duet with pianist Geri Allen, solidifies her place as a true jazz singer for the ages.