By Peter Quinn, Jazzwise UK June issue
Four Stars (out of 4) Any new album by Carmen Lundy is a cause for celebration and, delivering a heady mix of jazz, blues, samba and pop, Code Noir is no exception. Floating delicately into your consciousness as if in a dream, the fragile beauty of album opener ‘Another Chance’ is delivered entirely sotto voce, the dynamic never rising beyond an understated mezzo forte. Writing or co-writing all 12 album tracks, as well as crafting all the arrangements, from the effervescence of ‘Afterglow’ and righteous indignation of ‘Black And Blues’, to the sensuousness of ‘The Island, The Sea, And You’, Lundy pens songs that immediately take up residency in your heart. As heard on standouts such as ‘Live Out Loud’ and ‘Kumbaya’, the latter a heartfelt plea to humanity with which the album signs off, Lundy’s voice, and the unusually rich timbre of her middle and lower register in particular, is a remarkable instrument that can switch from hushed intimacy to raw passion in the blink of an eye. A compelling addition to her singular discography, Code Noir confirms her position as one of the great storytellers of jazz.