Monday, November 14




Jazz Notes: Carmen Lundy vs. New Jazz Generation

Jazz vocalist Carmen Lundy has released a live double-CD set, Jazz from the New Songbook. Few jazz vocalists today can turn out a standard the way that Carmen Lundy does. In fact, there are several classics that I paid little attention to until I heard her cover them. Two examples: My Favorite Things and Love For Sale. This sultry sister opens her mouth and out streams heady champaigne on a romantic night scented with the essence of a dozen perfect roses.

Carmen recently blessed her loyal, cult-like international fan base with a live double CD, Jazz and the New Songbook: Live at the Madrid. On it, she is joined by jazz notables such as trombonist Steve Turre, her brother bassist Curtis Lundy as well as Nathan East, pianist Billy Childs and many others.

'The Street Musician' by jazz great Carmen LundyAs if her hynotic vocal talent isn't enough, Carmen also is an accomplished fine artist. Her bold, expressionist style with a brush is part Outsider, part moderne. She's another example of artistic talent in one area extrapolating to another.

For more on Carmen Lundy, check: BlogCritics 11/04 Jazz-Not-Jazz 02/05 BlogCritics 02/05

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That said, and so much more I could say about Carmen Lundy, this scares me:

New Jazz Generation featuring Norah Jones, Joss Stone and others. I imagine this is an enjoyable album. But I'm bugging a bit about this crew being "crowned" the New Jazz Generation.

I own music by Norah Jones and Joss Stone; like them both a lot. I've previewed Jamie Cullen, and he's a bit bouncy for my jazz taste. I'm not familiar with Amy Winehouse nor Katie Melua, but I'm curious about what they offer that earned them a slot on this CD.

Just don't know where this music is headed. Joss Stone is a helluva blue-eyed soul singer, but this does not make her "jazz-able." Christina Aguilerra is a helluv an over-singing pop singer, but Herbie Hancock puts her on his album? Queen Latifah crosses over to drop a jazz CD, and we embrace it just because...? (I'll give Queen major props for selecting a dynamic menu of songs, but Ella and Sarah must be so confused somewhere...)

There must be a way to bring fresh voices to the genre without diluting its standards and fuzzying-up its boundaries this way. Pop is cool, just keep pop out of jazz. Maybe that theory about "extrapolating" across artistic disciplines doesn't hold as true across genres within the same discipline? I mean, Carmen Lundy sure can paint, but that doesn't mean she can rap.

Read more:


Clicks to Miles Davis catalog, but explore as you like

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the good fortune to attend the concert in L.A. where Ms. Lundy recorded this new CD. She was beyond amazing.

Her voice has the unusual ability to take you away to another planet. It is filled with the power of love and all its truths.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Viqi French said...

anonymous,
that WAS fortunate. i just missed carmen live here in the chicago area and wish like hell i hadn't.

3:31 PM  
Blogger James Manning said...

Very unique blog you have here. Thanks for posting. I see the photo of Dwelle on the side. Dude is nice but he didn't get much play in Chicago. I have N'Dambi CD as well. It is an old CD but what I really enjoy is Goapele's cd.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Jaimie said...

I'm not that familiar with jazz. Do they consider Joss Stone jazz? I would consider her more soul. Thanks for posting back on my blog.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Viqi French said...

james,
i so love that dwele cd. and fyi, n'dambi's next cd should hit the market very soon. of course, that's been said practically all year, but i have it on good authority that it's in the pipeline.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Viqi French said...

jaimie,
you're right: no one ever considered joss stone "jazz" until some desperate music exec decided to package her this way. strange...

5:58 PM  
Blogger obifromsouthlondon said...

fiendin' to hear some of Carmen Lundy's stuff. will get digging.

I watched a Joss Stone EPK on webjay yesterday. and she's really good. even got an album of her's I havent opened (shame on me). A part of me balks at this blue-eyed soul and jazz thing. I just smell record company all over it. yeah good music but ...

11:44 AM  
Blogger Viqi French said...

obi,

i dig joss stone, too. she's got a powerful voice and is coached by one of the best ladies of soul from the seventies: betty wright.

but my problem is that people like joss (and christina a.) tend to over-sing, and that can ruin a jazz song. it just gets downright annoying and sounds like they're trying way too hard, when it's supposed to sound effortless.

5:26 AM  
Anonymous Kandi gyrl said...

What is sad is that Joss Stone and Nora Jones names will make this CD sell real well. You couldn't pay me to sit through this one.

11:32 AM  

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