This week on CJ the Take Three feature was on Carmen Lundy, former opera student, artist actress and jazz singer. Does she deserve greater prominence? I think so. Lundy plays in continental Europe most years and she is due over this summer, but somehow rarely comes to the UK. She has a strong, but not over-bearing voice capable of expressing sensual emotion and – like vocalist Gregory Porter – always allows her musicians plenty of opportunities to shine. One of the musicians on You’re Not In Love was the keyboardist Harry Whitaker and this provided the perfect excuse to give the Cosmic Jazz annual summer airing to his Black Renaissance group – a truly free and inspirational piece of music, up there among the all-time Cosmic Jazz favourites.
Carmen Lundy has sung for the Japanese group Quasimode which is why one of their tunes was included. Trumpeter Randy Brecker was also on the same Carmen Lundy album as Harry Whitaker and as he and his late brother Michael appear so frequently on Cosmic Jazz tunes I decided to play something from the Brecker Brothers themselves. The album East River did venture into funk/disco crossover territory and was not to the taste of everyone in the jazz world but Not Ethiopia is a strong jazz tune.
There was more from recent compilations and Timo Lassy’s 2012 album In With Lassy before we finished the show with a touch of Brazil from late vocalist Clara Nunes. One of Brazil’s most popular singers until her sudden death in 1983, Nines would regularly sell over a million copies of each of her album releases. She was a noted researcher into the rhythms and folklore of Brazilian popular music, and traveled several times to Africa to search for the roots of black music. Even today she remains one of the most popular singers in Brazil.
- Timo Lassy – Teddy The Sweeper from In With Lassy
- Michel Roques – Ricardo from Freedom Jazz France
- Farnell Newton – Everything Is Clear from The Hurst Selection Vol. 2
- Quasimode – Last Nine Days from The Land Of Freedom
- Carmen Lundy – You’re Not In Love from Old Devil Moon
- Carmen Lundy – (I Dream) In Living Colour from This Is Carmen Lundy
- Carmen Lundy – Love Thy Neighbour from Changes
- The Brecker Brothers – Not Ethiopia from East River
- Clara Nunes – Canto Das Tres Racas from Rare Groove Brasil
- Black Renaissance – Black Renaissance from Body, Mind And Spirit
We chose to feature Clara Nunes in our video slot this week: Here she is singing one of her first big hit songs, the samba Conto de Areia from 1974: