Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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LUNDY, Carmen

(b 1 Nov. '54, Miami FL) Singer, composer, arranger, producer; also actress, painter. Sister of bassist Curtis Lundy. She studied piano and sang in church choir, determined by age twelve to become a professional singer and turning pro in her teens. She cut a single as half of a duo called Salt and Pepper, a pop/country outing; she decided that pop was not for her, and attended the U of Miami as an opera major until her sophomore year, but wanted more of the spontaneity of her gospel and blues roots. She sang and toured with the college jazz band, and relocated to NYC '78, where she sat in with the Mel Lewis/Thad Jones big band at the Village Vanguard, played a lead in the Duke Ellington pastiche Sophisticated Ladies and played Billie Holiday off-Broadway, also formed her own trio '80 with John Hicks and Onaje Allen Gumbs. On her debut album Good Morning Kiss '85 on Blackhawk she wrote that the reason she waited to make a record was that she wanted to do it her way (the notes also credit her hairstylist, makeup artist and image consultant); the band incl. Bobby Watson, Cecil Bridgewater, René McLean and Steve Turre, and she recorded five of her own memorable tunes plus standards 'Dindi', 'Love For Sale' and 'The Lamp Is Low'. She tends to write romantic ballads in the love lost-and-found department. Night And Day '86 on CBS/Sony was the last in a ten-CD series on female vocalists and her most consistent jazz album, featuring Kenny Kirkland, Victor Lewis and Ricky Ford. She is a smooth singer with a pretty voice, and could be described as a jazz-styled Anita Baker type, a bit harder- hitting as an R&B songstress yet at times too lightweight to be considered a jazz singer. Some of this is probably due to her accompaniment fluctuating between credible jazz and Adult Contemporary fluff. She moved to LA and her next albums wavered between jazz and crossover: Moment To Moment '91 on Arabesque was followed by Self Portrait '94 on JVC, her biggest production to date, the large cast incl. Ernie Watts and Cedar Walton, the booklet reproducing her oil-painted self-portrait. She sang on two tracks on a Watts album '96.