CODE NOIR, the new album from vocalist/composer CARMEN LUNDY
By George Harris, Jazz Weekly
One of the most attractive aspects of Carmen Lundy’s career is that she has created her own tone, style and delivery. Here, along with her composing skills, she plays guitar and keyboards along with Patrice Rushen/p, Ben Williams/b, Kendrick Scott/dr, Jeff Parker/eg and Elisabeth Oei/voc for a dozen personal and exciting new pieces.
Her rich, thick and sorghum tone has an alluring vibrato on the soulful grooves like “ Live Out Loud” and her richly pulsed mix of conversation and chanteuse with Parker and Rushen rumbling underneath on “Afterglow.” Her bedroom eyes of a voice is sensuous on the soulful ballad “ I Keep Falling” and is both relaxed and riveting on”I Got Your Number.” Parker’s guitar gets bluesy as Lundy clearly enunciates as her voice descends on “Second Sight” while he gets rocky and fuzzy with Scott’s percussive delivery on”Black and Blues.” A dash of Brazilia is also given dark and rich hues with an R&B backbeat of “ Have a Little Faith In Me” while “The Island, The Sea and You” has some wonderfully breezy background vocals. Even her own “Kumbaya” mixes the red African earth with a third world grove, taking the title of the tune back to its equatorial home. This one’s a real gem from the mines.