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Carmen Lundy: Jazz and the New Songbook: Live at the Madrid

Carmen Lundy, as beautiful inside as out, has accomplished the near impossible for a jazz singer by maintaining a solid, successful, three-decade career while focusing largely on original, self-penned material. Now, for those who’ve missed some or all of Lundy’s seven previous albums, there’s this two-disc set, recorded live at L.A.’s Madrid Theatre, that serves as a stunning showcase for 18 compositions, old and new.

Backed by a superlative spectrum of players she’s worked with over the years, including pianists Billy Childs and Robert Glasper, trombonist Steve Turre, bassist Phil Upchurch, the L.A. String Quartet and her musical anchor, bassist brother Curtis, Lundy travels from the honeyed swing of “In Love Again” and uninhibited passion of “All Day, All Night” to the pensive hopefulness of “Better Days” and wicked insight of “Walking Code Blue.” But to truly, fully appreciate Lundy’s unique ability to wed the assured elegance of Dianne Reeves and the velvet-fisted grit of Nina Simone, submerge yourself in the 15 minutes of funkified fortitude that are her concert-closing “I Dream in Living Colour.”

Originally Published