Carmen Lundy At Birdland Jazz Club, NYC
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta, Luxury Experience
Jazz vocalist, composer, and arranger Carmen Lundy dazzled the audience at the famed Birdland Jazz Club in New York City, New York for her release party for her latest album, Code Noir. A voice equal to the legendary ladies of Jazz: Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and Dinah Washington, Carmen Lundy delivered a powerful performance on Saturday, February 4, 2017, her last night of a 5-night, 2-show nightly gig, and what a night it was!
Carmen Lundy is the ultimate entertainer, she knows how to engage the audience, to draw them in and make them feel a part of the music. With her wide vocal range, she can let her voice soar or slow it down a pace and sing softly with the easy grace and style from what legends are made. Starting her professional career at age 16 in Miami, she has made music her life for the past 40 years, and in 2016, she was honored with a Lifetime Achievement in Jazz by Black Women in Jazz.
Since starting her career, she has performed with an impressive roster of talent including her brother, bassist Curtis Lundy, Ray Barretto, Kenny Barron, Bruce Hornsby, Terri Lyne Carrington, Regina Carter, and many more. As an example of her talent, her first solo album released in 1985, Good Morning Kiss, reached the number 3 spot on Billboard's Jazz Chart and stayed there for 23 weeks. Her subsequent releases continued to be well received. Code Noir (release date February 17, 2017) is her 15th solo release.
For her performance at Birdland Jazz Club, she explained to the audience, many of whom have been following her stellar career, that she would not be singing any of her old material, instead she would be singing her new songs that she wrote for Code Noir as a preview before the actual release date.
Birdland Jazz Club established in 1949, has hosted top talent since it opened, and the large framed black and white photographs of the greats that line the gray walls, and white tablecloths and votive candles give the club a sophisticated and polished ambience.
Performing with her band, Victor Gould on piano, Darryl Hall on upright bass and electric bass guitar, Andrew Renfroe on guitar, and Kass Overall on drums, with vocalist Machan Taylor adding backing vocals to a few of the songs, Carmen set the pace for the evening that included some stellar solo segments from the band.
Whether singing or scatting her way through the 12 songs on Code Noir, Carmen Lundy created a special night of musical magic. Code Noir is stunning: Another Chance, Live Out Loud, Black And Blues, Whatever It Takes, Afterglow, Second Sight about falling in love at first and second sight, The Island, The Sea And You inspired by her first trip to Hawaii 6 months earlier that is a love letter to the islands, a song that makes you want to pack your bags and book a trip there with your special someone. Other songs included I Keep Falling, the soft and lovely I Got Your Number, You Came Into My Life, Have A Little Faith with its samba rhythm and scat, and she finished the set with the song, Kumbaya.
After receiving rousing applause, Carmen returned to the stage for one more song, Happy New Year, which was aptly fitting and a wonderful way to end the exciting evening. If you have the chance to attend a Carmen Lundy performance do so, and let the magic of Carmen Lundy, Jazz vocalist, composer, arranger into your life, and in the meantime, pick up a copy of Code Noir and give it a listen.
Keep enjoying the music!