Carmen Lundy | Changes


Carmen Lundy

A Record Reflection by A. Scott Galloway

Singer/Songwriter Carmen Lundy’s twelfth album, Changes, is the kind of jazz vocal album that does more than entertain. It enhances your very existence. This is music that soothes your being, uplifts your spirit and quiets your mind – music you can use. It has a very strong Afrocentric foundation and an overflowing of warm musical sunshine to light your way. Ms. Lundy composed 8 of the 9 numbers herself, making for an album truly classifiable as “one from the heart.”

The CD opens with two tranquil scene setters “The Night is Young (Naya Song)”

(co-composed with Julie Raynor and featuring subtly lovely strings) and “So Beautiful” (featuring a commanding electric piano turn from Anthony Wonsey – the first of many – and a melodic yet meaty introduction by inventive drummer Jamison Ross – new on the scene and one to watch). Next is the first of two mighty message tunes, “Love Thy Neighbor” – a live and let live missive featuring the added bonus of a tight horn section. “I’m your sister in the global family,” Carmen sings invitingly as the rhythm section and horns lift the song to higher and higher heights. Later in the album Ms. Lundy returns to this invigorating vibe of uplift with “Dance the Dance,” the CD’s longest track that opens up for some deep improvisation and interplay between Lundy and her gentlemen.

The project’s one standard, “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,” is buoyed by a floating reharmonization and some wonderfully evocative playing from the trio. The loveliness turns bittersweet with the ballad “Sleeping Alone” followed by the waltz-timed “Too Late For Love” on which she also plays harp and trades lines with trumpeter Nolan Shaheed. The light straight ahead groove of “To Be Loved By You” leads smoothly into the meditative closer “Where Love Surrounds Us,” sung solely to the guitar accompaniment of Brazilian legend Oscar Castro-Neves.

In addition to her singing and writing artistry, Ms. Lundy also shows her visual artistry with a personalized rendering of the sun on the album cover – a piece she calls “Now Tomorrow Yesterday Forever.” Describing it in her EPK she states, “It’s the sun that’s inside of us that glows through our eyes.” The metaphorical musical sun of Carmen Lundy’s soul on Changes is warm and wonderful.

A. Scott Galloway
Music Editor
The Urban Music Scene