Carmen Lundy: Soul To Soul
Soul To Soul is Carmen Lundy’s 14th album and features 13 songs, 11 of which Carmen composed and arranged. She plays guitar on all tracks, piano on “Kindred Spirits,” the electric Rhodes on “Don’t You Know How I Feel,” and the drums/percussion on “Sardegna” and also provides backing vocals on “Grace.” The Los Angeles-based vocalist opens the program with “Kindred Spirits,” a song that explores the concept of ‘you reap what you sow’ and the way you play the game of life. Next is “Life Is A Song In Me,” during which Lundy’s lyrics benefit from the synergy of her multi-octave range and vocalese, Rushen’s Rhodes solo, Jamison Ross’ exemplary drumming and the balanced backing vocals.
Carmen Lundy continues to find new connections between the jazz elements used by vocalists and instrumentalists on the title track, “Soul To Soul.” She adds the stellar accompaniment of trumpeter Randy Brecker, tenor saxophonist Ada Rovatti and piano chops of Patrice Rushen to underline her musical persona and vocal technique. The sound motion inherent in that song has great tone that many people will feel instantly and submit it to their memory and recall abilities. That is what makes a song a hit with people – its sound motion.
Her great ballad, “When Will They Learn,” is absolutely beautiful with its string arrangements for harpist Carol Robbins and the serene brushwork of Jamison Ross. Here Carmen delivers the song in her vocals lower octaves which make this moving song one of the best on the recording. You can hear that she has internalized the music, allowing it to flow in her veins and transferring it directly to the listener.
Overall, Soul To Soul is among Carmen Lundy’s best recordings. She understands that those notes she puts down on paper are important and have their place. But when it comes to delivering those notes, her vocal acume n and virtuosity proves that she has the right balance, the right accompaniments, the right musical formats and the right synergy, artistry and jazz sensibilities to make those inspired notes accessible to her worldwide fans. Check it out. By Paula Edelstein
hi-fi+ October 2015 by Dennis Davis
Lundy’s 14th album, the song cycle Soul to Soul, collects 13 tracts, eleven written by Lundy, on a gatefold double LP, launched simultaneously with the CD release. Backed by a stellar band including jazz greats Randy Becker, Geri Allen, and Bennie Maupin, Lundy sings and, at various times also doubles on most of the instruments in the band.
This is Pure Pleasure’s second Lundy release and it’s a stunner.
While an array of great musicians take solo turns on the album, the heart of the album is Lundy’s interplay with pianist Geri Allen. Spread across two LP’s, Lundy concentrates on soulful ballads on disc one, moving into more extended grooves on disc two. Bringing down the pace and closing with Mary Lou Williams `What’s Your Story, Morning Glory’, Lundy reminds us why she has been frequently compared to Ella. Lundy is based in Los Angeles and recorded the session at nearby Firehouse Recording Studios in Pasadena, a woman owned and operated studio. Every instrument is captured perfectly, and precisely balanced within the soundstage.
This is a great session featuring excellent sound, and is highly recommended for those seeking a serious contemporary voice in jazz.
DD Recording 9.5/10 Music 9/10
Personnel: Carmen Lundy – vocals, piano, Rhodes, keyboards, guitar, drums, percussion, string arrangements & programming / Patrice Rushen – piano, Rhodes, keyboards / Darryl Hall – acoustic & electric bass / Jamison Ross – drums & percussion / Geri Allen – piano, Rhodes / Randy Brecker – trumpet, flugelhorn / Mayra Casales – percussion, congas / Simphiwe Dana – vocals / Bennie Maupin – tenor sax, soprano sax / Carol Robbins – harp / Ada Rovatti – tenor sax / Warren Wolf – vibes
Side A: 1.Kindred Spirits 2. Life is A Song In Me 3.Soul To Soul
Side B: 1. When Will They Learn 2.Daybreak 3. Between Darkness and Dawn
Side C: 1. Grace 2.Grateful Pt.1 3.Grateful Pt.2
Side D: 1. Everything I Need 2. Don’t you Know How I Feel 3. Sardegna
4. What’s Your Story, Morning Glory
Re-mastering by: Ray Staff at Air Mastering, Lyndhurst Hall, London
Cat No: PPAN AFP13812
Format: 180 gram LP x 2 gatefold sleeve
Produced by Elisabeth Oei & Carmen Lundy
Recorded & mixed by Don Murray at Firehouse Recording Studios, Pasadena, CA in 2014