Never one to limit her creative journeys, Lundy explores the realms of Jazz, Blues, Brazilian Samba and Pop with a multitude of messages that reflect not only the complexities of her own mindset, but the disparity of the world at large. Poignant, heartfelt, joyous, shocked, saddened and impassioned are just a few of the emotions conveyed by this wonderfully evocative singer on CODE NOIR in a highly personal musical voyage.
“These songs encompass the musical and artistic influences from the African diaspora and its influence on jazz and other musical genres – the bossa nova, the blues, swing, funk, the exploration into the avant-garde,” says Carmen.
“Yet they also encompass the many emotions that are prevalent in this country right now. We are going through tough times with a country that is sorely divided and many of these tracks reflect the feelings that we as human beings are going through on an individual level. CODE NOIR actually refers to the first law ever written by a person in power of a sovereign nation/empire – the King of France Louis XIV – the first law to disallow and make illegal the integration of the African race into white European society.” Having written or co-written all twelve tracks on the album, Carmen envelops her listeners from the start with the questioning opening song, “Another Chance” – a thought-provoking title truly pertinent in the world today. “Live Out Loud” encourages us to do just that while “Black And Blues” is about our present affairs, “the legacy of the black experience in America,” says Carmen. “The unplanned fallout and result of legislating and legalizing systemic racism.” She adds, “The electric guitar in the song illustrates its contribution to all things defining American culture through song.”
Code Noir samples
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On another heartfelt level the glories of love at first – and second – sight are explored on “Second Sight” while “The Island, The Sea and You,” a song Carmen wrote while on a trip to Hawaii, is an ode to the love of Lundy’s life. The infectious “Have A Little Faith” explores the rhythms born of the African experience and originating from the African continent which the singer has always loved – and as an African American, has always identified with – while the lyrics of “Whatever It Takes” implore us to be strong in the face of this imperfect world.
The tracks “I Got Your Number,” “I Keep Falling” and “You Came Into My Life” are keen observations on the state of the modern-day romantic relationship in all its various stages. The CD closes with the inspired “Kumbaya,” originally spoken as ‘Come By Here’ in the south, “perhaps in the Gullah language of slaves from Angola brought to the Carolinas, to my understanding,” says Carmen. “It’s a song to my family. A plea to humanity.”
Masterfully accompanying Carmen on the new album is Patrice Rushen on piano who once again joins Carmen on this outing, Ben Williams on acoustic and electric bass, Jeff Parker on electric guitar, Kendrick Scott on drums and percussion and Elisabeth Oei on background vocals. In addition to vocals, Lundy also plays keyboards and guitar and arranged all the songs.
- Another Chance * (3:44)
- Live Out Loud (4:35)
- Black And Blues (3:47)
- Whatever It Takes (4:23)
- Afterglow (4:46)
- Second Sight (3:36)
- The Island, The Sea, And You (4:31)
- I Keep Falling (5:25)
- I Got Your Number * (5:01)You Came Into My Life (4:51Have A Little Faith (2:48Kumbaya (4:38)
Carmen Lundy – vocals, keyboards, guitar, string programming, background vocals
Patrice Rushen – piano
Ben Williams – acoustic bass, electric bass
Kendrick Scott – drums, percussion
Jeff Parker – electric guitar
Elisabeth Oei – background vocals
All songs composed and arranged by Carmen Lundy, C. Lundy Publishing/ASCAP except * by Carmen Lundy and Julie Raynor (Castle Dream Music/BMI).
Produced by Elisabeth Oei and Carmen Lundy
Recorded and Mixed by Don Murray at Stagg Street Studios, Van Nuys, CA
Mixed at Afrasia Studios, Woodland Hills, CA
Mastered by Sangwook Sunny Nam at Jacob’s Well Mastering, NH
Released on Afrasia Records