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CD REVIEW: Carmen Lundy - Soul to Soul

by: Cyrus Rhodes



"invigorating & soulful"






Artist: Carmen Lundy

CD: Soul to Soul

Label: Afrasia Productions Inc.

Website: http://www.carmenlundy.com/

Genre: Smooth Jazz, Vocal Jazz, Jazz, Blues, Funky Pop, Singer/Songwriter

Sounds Like: Vanessa Rubin, Lena Horne, Nina Simone. Anita Baker, Dianne Reeves, Lizz Wright, Jane Monheit

Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/ Musicianship Grade: 10/10

Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 9/10

Best Songs: Daybreak, Soul to Soul, Life is a Song In Me, Grace, Sardegna

Weakness: None




Carmen Lundy began her professional career in Miami, FL as a jazz vocalist and composer when there were very few young, gifted and aspiring jazz vocalists on the horizon. Over four decades later, Ms. Lundy is celebrated throughout the world for her vocal artistry and is highly regarded for her jazz innovation. Her latest 13 Track release is entitled “Soul to Soul” and was released in 2014. She has several albums to her credit and has had several Top Ten albums on JazzWeek (“Jazz and the New Songbook-Live at The Madrid”, “Come Home”, and “Changes”) and a #3 spot on Billboard’s Jazz Chart for 23 weeks with her debut album “Good Morning Kiss”. Among her other awards and recognitions, especially rewarding was Miami-Dade's County Office of the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners proclaiming January 25th "Carmen Lundy Day”, along with handing Ms. Lundy the keys to the City of Miami.


The CD quickly takes flight with “Kindred Spirits” a dynamic yet smooth intro groove that serves inviting yet dynamic vocals against full-tilt rhythm section meshed against well placed Organ, Piano, Guitar tandems set against a mesmerizing vocal front from Lundy. Track 2 “Life Is A song In Me” presents an uplifting heartfelt follow-up piece that serves up slamming rhythm, methodical musical build, rich melody against a grand slam chorus. This piece flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition making for an impressive follow-up statement.  Track 3 “Soul to Soul” serves up an impressive smooth as silk groove painted against impressive Jazz Piano, inviting horn section and hypnotic vocal groove. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear the musicianship from everyone involved is clearly above the bar with impressive bass lines, slamming solos, well placed Piano, impressive organ, Flugelhorn, Saxophone, Harp, sporadic Percussive accents, Electric Piano accents, thick soulful harmonies all built upon a thick as a brick rhythm section. Song for song the effective combination of Lundy’s unique and infectious voice, world class songwriting and top flight musicianship it’s never once called into question. Now turning our attention over to Lundy, as for her vocal abilities - she is quite impressive and clearly feels comfortable in her own skin by letting it all hang out musically. As an artist she is quite inspirational because she is being true to herself. Her musical/vocal style is cut from the cloth of Vanessa Rubin, Anita Baker, Dianne Reeves, Lizz Wright, Lena Horne, Nina Simone and Jane Monheit. Lundy clearly showcases an infectious and appealing mezzo-soprano persona with a unique appeal makes her a bit magical. All of this makes for a strong and confident vocal ability across the board. Despite a very dynamic vocal approach it’s amazing how well Lundy pulls this off flawlessly. I doubt many Jazz singers can execute this well, Lundy makes it all look and sound too easy as her timing and vocal risk-taking re impeccable. I especially like how her voice just sort of flutters melodically with the music. In many ways she’s comparable to Nina Simone with a songwriting style cut from the same cloth as Chet Baker with a voice that will remind you of Lena Horne. Did I mention she also plays Rhodes Piano, Guitar and Keyboards? This latest CD from Carmen Lundy delivers 13 invigorating tracks all providing an interesting snapshot of a clairvoyant, wise and spiritual artist. All songs deliver thought provoking lyrical wisdom with messages that are positive, passionate and extremely captivating and full of powerful wisdom. From powerful “When Will They Learn” to invigorating and soulful  “Daybreak” to hypnotic "Between the Darkness and the Dawn" to soulful "Grace" to grooving "Grateful Pt 2" this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with track 13 “What’s Your Story, Morning Glory” the perfect wrap for a catalogue like this.  


I typically dedicate this paragraph to any weaknesses found on the CD, as you can see I Have nothing to report.


From start to finish this latest release from Carmen Lundy entitled "Soul to Soul” is a fully loaded, powerful, inspirational, uplifting and impressive catalogue of music The music is very consistent, well-crafted and extremely entertaining. Note for note, song for song there isn’t really weak piece on this entire catalogue. The production strokes: writing and playing abilities of this production are world class. The enticing melodies and harmonies are well crafted and the lyrical content is packed to the hilt with rich conventional wisdom and a strong spiritual connection may will gravitate to. Carmen Lundy. Perhaps Lundy is a bit beyond all that at this point in her amazing career. Whatever the case Carmen Lundy is one of the great artists in a world full of soulless musical clutter. 


Cyrus Rhodes