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Pianist-Vocalist Champian Fulton joins Scott Hamilton, the iconic American Jazz tenor, to present "The Things We Did Last Summer", recorded live in concert while on tour in Spain for Blau Records. This is the way Jazz was meant to be heard: live, unedited, and spontaneous: a whirlwind of improvisation. A refreshing selection of tunes provides the canvas on which Champian and Scott advance their musical ideas; Scott's big sound and swinging manner on the saxophone suit Champian's infectious piano prowess and galvanizing vocals perfectly. On "The Very Thought of You", Champian's enthralling vocal performance transports the listener away from the troubles of everyday life, while on "Runnin' Wild" Scott swings hard into the melody while Champian drives the rhythm section on this wild ride through a tune you haven't heard in a long time. Joined by Esteve Pi on drums and Ignasi Gonzales on bass, Champian and Scott shine brightly on this quartet release, hopefully the first of many to come.
"The Things We Did Last Summer is a balm for the soul." - Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz
"As a pianist, Fulton, a dexterous, imaginative player, blends beautifully with the astute Hamilton. Their shared inventiveness is evident across everything..." - Jazz Times
"Not to disrespect Diana Krall’s piano chops, and Karrin Allyson is a much better pianist than she typically lets on, but there’s no other singer in jazz with chops as fast and fluid as Fulton’s Nor is there a pianist with her speed and prowess who’s equally gifted on the mic...." - New York Music Daily
"one of the most sparkling, spirited, and intensely swinging jazz releases I’ve heard so far this year." - CD Hot List
"Fulton sings with a devilish gleam in her eye—she sounds, always, like she's having the time of her life—and she lays down a sparkling piano..." - Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz
"[Champian is] a hell of a pianist, and one with a very strong voice that seems to instantly wrap up generations of piano jazz expression, but find a way to make it come across fresh and new" -Dusty Groove
"Fulton’s latest album is The Things We Did Last Summer, a collaboration with suave tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton recorded live onstage in Spain last year and streaming at Spotify. It’s a mix of instrumental and vocal numbers, and despite the fact that it’s mostly standards, it’s arguably the high point of Fulton’s career so far. She makes solid studio albums – her all-instrumental collection, Speechless, is a party in a box – but both co-leaders do their best work onstage. More artists – particularly players who can improvise at the level the band reaches here – should be making live records." - Lucid Culture
Read Champian's Feature interview in the Oklahoma Gazette: http://okgazette.com/2017/08/31/oklahoma-born-jazz-pianist-and-vocalist-champian-fulton-shines-on-a-new-album/
THE LINER NOTES
Featuring Champian Fulton (piano & voice), Scott Hamilton (tenor sax), Ignasi Gonzalez (bass) and Esteve Pi (drums). Recorded LIVE at Espai de la Musica Mestre Vila (Benicassim Spain), April 1, 2017.
Blau Records Writes:
Scott Hamilton, the American saxophonist, (Providence, Rhode Island,1954), is now almost iconic at Blau Records, with this recording being his fourth, following on from "Live in Barcelona", "La Rosita" and "The Shadow of your Smile"; all live recordings to boot, which gives them that extra something special.
Though Scott Hamilton doesn't need any introduction, it's good to recall that his music always stands for sound, language, diction and style, and since he is up there in the echelon of mythical saxophonists, let me just say to sit back, listen and enjoy.
Champian Fulton, born in Oklahoma (1985), took full advantage of growing up in a rich musical household and environment; her father Stephen Fulton, jazz flugelhornist and trumpeter and teacher, along with Clark Terry and Benny Green inspired and boosted her musical career as a pianist-vocalist and later as a jazz teacher. She shows a beautiful sympathy for the genre and her presence lights up the stage. She is fully centered in her performance as an art, and is aware of the verbal and nonverbal communication with her audience, essential to any concert. Her gig therefore is energetic, warm and emphatic. This live recording is all the more valuable as it is a reflection of what really happens in her favourite habitat: the stage! Champian is a true jazz diva, and as in Scott’s case, comparisons are irrelevant, she is who she is.
Ignasi González on the double bass and Esteve Pi on drums, play regularly in both the Spanish and international jazz scene and have between them a background teaming with major global jazz leaders and bring all this experience to this album.
The compositions chosen for the concert, while belonging to the usual repertoire of jazz vocalists, may not be that well known to the general public, yet, they are recognizably 'back to the roots', an alchemy and distillation of the quintessence of the genre, played at the highest level; feeling, communicating, connecting, live, capturing the freshness, interaction and natural conversation between the musicians and the audience.
Praise is also due to Estudio Rocketes sound engineer Alberto Sales who manages to skilfully capture what happens on stage, and translates it perfectly for the recording.
And just as one musical note can say more than a thousand words, the music from this quartet eloquently soars where mere words can't reach. This is another one to savour and enjoy.