Friday, January 13, 2012

Carmen Lundy: One Of The Greats

I've worked with a fair number of jazz vocalists in my career, including Cassandra Wilson, Vanessa Rubin, and Claudia Acuna, among others. A vocalist whom I have admired for years and always wanted to work with is Carmen Lundy.(She actually called me once a few years ago, in an emergency situation where she needed a last minute sub, but I was booked! Drat!)I remember Vanessa Rubin taking me to hear Lundy at Sweet Basil's, and I was floored! Lundy seems to have it all: a great voice, unbelievable musicality, stage presence, plus she writes and arranges her own music, and knows tons of classic tunes as well. The mystery for me is why she isn't a household name! Well, maybe this is a start; at least my readers will know about her.

She was born in Miami, and started piano at age 6. She joined the church choir when she was 12, and decided then that she wanted to sing. Lundy got her degree in opera from the University of Miami. In 1978, she moved to New York City, and worked with the great Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band. She then started putting her own groups together, employing the likes of John Hicks and Kenny Kirkland.
She also spent some time touring with the musical "Sophisticated Ladies", a revue of Duke Ellington's music(and many known jazz musicians toured with this show, including Kenny Garrett. Also, I saw this show in the 80's.)

I went to see Lundy perform at Ronnie Scott's when I was in London a few years ago. She did a song called "Walking Code Blue"; the performance was so deep, the audience at Ronnie Scott's, which can actually get kind of noisy, was completely silent. They hung on her every phrase. And she also did one of my personal favorites, "Vu Ja De", which has some very cool and creative lyrics.

One of her recent albums features Lundy as a one-woman show: she wrote much of the music, mixed the CD, and played every instrument on the CD! It's called "Solamente", and it's impressive. Here's a sample:
Lundy's website has many of her recent albums available for sale: Here's the link: 

There is some news about her upcoming release, "Changes" which features pianist Anthony Wonsey and bassist Kenny Davis. There's a lot of things available on the site:sheet music, downloads, and even some of her wonderful artwork. Lundy is a true Renaissance Woman. Here's another one of my favorites: "In Love Again".


  1. Hello, George. I just stumbled upon your blogsite and I really like what I see here! Haven't ventured much onto 'jazz' blogs, but I'm impressed with what you're doing here. As a jazz fan/listener, I agree with you that Carmen Lundy ought to be better known. Thanks for the samples & links. I look forward to keeping up with your site and much success to you! Keep doing what you're doing. Brad Hart.

  2. Great article. Check out this video about Carmen's new album:

  3. AWESOME work. And amazing assortment of tools to work... Really great!!

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