The Jazzcat

Carmen Lundy at the Vic!!!

by on Nov.07, 2004, under News

imageWow, the Vic is quite the hip and special place in Santa Monica.

If you don’t know, now you know and if you still don’t know, then you

may not find out! Why, because you must have the key, the code, the

secret password in order to get access behind the eye of the beholder.


It was pretty magical because darkness surrounds the outside but, once

you figure out the point of entry, you are welcomed into a wonderful

world of intrigue, excitement, privilege and jazz at its finest. You

are greeted by a Gorgeous Goddess named Gloria, who is so sweet and

will make every effort to make your evening at the Vic a memorable one.


Every corner in the place is a little nook and it is furnished with

tables, chairs, love seats and chaise lounges. It is lit like a warm

fire with the lights and colors beaming and surrounding you with its

comforting ambiance all in a tight and cozy living room setting. It is

like finding a treasure map and going on an adventure.

image Click picture for video

Well, the treasure this week, the diamond in the

ruff, the ruby, the emerald, the priceless jewel was Miss Carmen Lundy!

Carmen delivers when she performs and in this setting you are up close

and personal. Long, sleek and beautiful are the tones as they sale

though the registers and visit the mountain tops with frequent ease.

Captured by her soothing melodies and crystal clear passionate voice,

Carmen runs you through the gamut of emotions singing stories that

speak the truth, make you laugh, make you ponder and reflect

on all of the many facets of life and love. Her voice is so

penetrating that the waves of sound attach themselves to your body and

make you feel like it is you who are singing. She sings with and about

the birds, “way up and so high above the clouds”. Soaring and scoring

all 10’s! Another tune sung so wonderfully was “Nature Boy”, hauntingly

dramatic and arranged with such intrigue. Each song is performed to

make you think and feel. An hour set is so enrapturing that you might

think that you came out of an intense 3 hour movie. When she sings a

tune and screams passionately about love, everybody is drenched and not

with perspiration! She gives us love and we give love in return.


This was a treat for everyone including the band

of more than desirable musicians. I think that every singer would want

to play with these cats. On piano, composer, arranger, master pianist

and burning up the Yamaha with the biggest sound was Billy Childs.

Sounding like the classic studio musician, clean and so perfect and

full of the good kind of groove was Nathan East on bass. Gentle

caressing touches adding sweetness to the most gorgeous chords and

changes on guitar is the great Phil

Upchurch. And, from the Tonight Show, jamming the little drummer boy

march, the one who has the smile all up in his style, Mr. Marvin

“Smitty” Smith! This is like an all-star lineup, like playing with

Shaq, Kobe, Magic and Jordon all on your squad. Well, maybe Shaq and Kobe

are not the best examples of cohesiveness but, you get my point. She

shared personal stories about her relationship to each one of

these players and their experiences with the music.image 

Tonight is her birthday and the whole place

breaks out in the birthday song. The audience was composed of those who

love this music and others who are on a jazz day pass but the energy

formed a united bond which Carmen used and delivered right back to us.

She wrote and sang many songs that have never been performed in public

before, not a challenge for this band of prolific readers. One piece

was called “Happy New Year” written to replace the tired ass song that

we hear every year at the stroke of midnight. If this became the song

we celebrated to, cold filtered love would be served up instead of

alcohol and the world would be that much better because of it!image   image

She has a show coming up next year on February 18th here in Los Angeles

at the Madrid Theater celebrating the music and the art of Carmen

Lundy! A few of the guest include Billy Childs, Bobby Watson, Steve

Turre, Victor Lewis, Mark Shim, The LA String Quartet and more…. Check

out the website at for more information!



LeRoy Downs

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