Carmen Lundy

Self Portrait

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Jazz singers have a great deal of difficulty in building a fresh repertoire because so many pop songs are not really transferable to creative music. Carmen Lundy solves the problem on this CD by writing six of her own songs, both lyrics and music. Her talents in that area are impressive and it would not be surprising if a few future standards came out of her repertoire. Lundy's memorable, deep voice, which has a wide range, can go very low (as heard on Jobim's "Triste") and on "Firefly" she overdubs a second part, making the performance sound like a male-female duet. A tasteful string section is used on some selections, but most songs utilize the core of a strong rhythm section (pianist Cedar Walton, John Clayton, or Nathan East on bass and drummer Ralph Penland) plus occasional guests Ernie Watts and Gary Herbig on reeds. Whether interpreting ballads, singing more heated pieces, or floating over a funky vamp, Carmen Lundy pays close attention to the lyrics and mood of each song but feels free to improvise spontaneously. This is one of her strongest recordings, with the high points including "Spring Can Really Hang You up the Most," "Firefly," "Forgive Me," and "My Ship."

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