When I was 28, Sarah Vaughan was in the prime of her life. I saw her in New York a half-dozen times, along with Shirley Horn, who returned in the early ’90s. Additionally, Benny Carter all through those years, not to mention Dizzy, Miles, George Coleman, Bobby Watson, and Wayne Shorter—we’re talking about a time in jazz when a lot of our icons were here putting people in the room. We’ve lost more than half of these great artists. My influences are those “modern ancestors” and a result of that time. I had the wonderful gift and honor of being in the room, privy to the sound, privy to the expression and creativity.
Listen to a Spotify playlist featuring all the songs in Carmen Lundy’s Artist’s Choice: