Dream a Little…
An album by Champian Fulton & Cory Weeds
‘Dream a little…’ is an album of duets between pianist and vocalist Champian Fulton and alto saxophonist Cory Weeds, who is a long time friend of Champian’s, and which was recorded in an intimate house in Vancouver (BC) on the 25th February 2019. The album was released by Cellar Live Records on 11th October 2019.
There is a feeling of relaxed freedom about the music, which was recorded in front of a small, appreciative audience. The recording quality is extremely high for a live performance.
Of the ten tracks, six are vocal, the remaining four instrumental – the chuckles Champian gives at Cory’s musical ‘in jokes’ during the instrumental ‘Secret Love’ (Sammy Fain (music) and Paul Francis Webster (lyrics)) shows just how much she is enjoying herself.
I’ve always considered Champian’s playing to be reminiscent of Oscar Peterson, but here, maybe because a rhythmic piano has to substitute for the missing bass and drums, she sounds more like Errol Garner.
One of the highlights for me is the vocal ‘Darn That Dream’ (Jimmy Van Heusen (music) and Eddie DeLange (lyrics)). It’s a far cry from the Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holiday versions, with nothing introspective or subtle about Champian’s interpretation of the lyrics. I admit it jarred on first hearing, but sort of grew on me as I listened a second, and third time.
I did miss the verse on ‘Fly Me to the Moon’, or as it was first known as ‘In Other Words’ (Bart Howard). Here it’s performed in waltz time instead of the Latin rhythm that’s usually used. Interesting!
All in all, it’s an album I enjoyed and will keep in my collection to play when I want to hear good jazz played for pleasure.
Copyright © June 2020