Carmen Lundy – Changes – Afrasia/ PurePleasure (vinyl)

Carmen Lundy – Changes – Afrasia/ PurePleasure AFP13712 – audiophile vinyl (2012) ***1/2:

(Carmen Lundy – vocals, harp, string and horn arrangements; Anthony Wonsey – piano, Fender Rhodes; Denny Davis – bass, electric bass; Jamison Ross – drums, percussion; Oscar Castro-Neves – guitar; Nolan Shaheed – trumpet, Flugelhorn; George Bohanon – trombone)

Don’t think badly of me, but I thought I had requested a Carmen McRae record to review—so much for my powers of observation.   As soon as the disc spun up I said to myself, “Wha..That doesn’t sound like Carmen Mc…oh, it’s Lundy, Carmen Lundy.”  Yes, Lundy began the piano at age six and decided to become a singer at 12.  She’s released about a dozen records starting back in the mid-80s.  Lundy doesn’t play piano on this record, but has put together a solid accompanying band and pulls the strings otherwise—so-to-speak.

Lundy’s got a rich, full, powerful voice, but it complements and never overpowers the music.   She’s a gifted composer as well (having composed nine of the ten tracks on this album).  The African-looking symbol on front cover at the center of mosaic tiles might mislead the listener as to what is to come.  Band Two reminds of a ‘70s album with the Fender and has a touch of Patricia Barber.  My impression was and is of great “live” music sound.   The record has a good variety of music (almost all) containing a message of some sort.  Band Three is a plea for all to get along in peace in this big varied world we call Earth.  Side Two starts off with a tune about Lundy’s displeasure about having to sleep alone.

One of the biggest compliments I can give to this recording is that it sounds fresh yet manages to integrate many of the elements of classic ‘70s and ‘80s jazz and successfully give them a contemporary slant.

TrackList:

Side 1: The Night Is Young; So Beautiful; Love Thy Neighbor; A Nightingale Song in Berkeley Square

Side 2: Sleeping Alone; Too Late For Love; Dance the Dance; To Be Loved By You; Where Love Surrounds Us

—Brian Bloom

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