I 'm trying to figure out a way to tell you what I had the extreme pleasure to see last night, when Champian Fulton, pianist and vocalist parked her quartet at The Garage. The entire gig of four hours flew by for me, from start to finish top notch musicians played top notch arrangements with a "swinging" rhythm and all the style and dedication the classic tunes deserved.
Evergreen after evergreen rolled off the lips and fingers of Champian
to the delight of the audience. Opening with a lively "What Is This Thing Called Love" followed by "But Not For Me" "It's All Right With Me" "Pennies From Heaven" "Out Of Nowhere" "Take The A Train"
"Slow Boat To China"...got the idea!
Some of the tunes that hit me hardest if that's possible because they were all outstanding, were my personal favorite "I Can't Face The Music"a Billie Holiday classic...and Billie would be proud of the way it was done by Champian.
And I thought the second set show stopper was, "My Melancholy Baby", beautifully done, from the gut, by Miss Fulton ."You Turned The Tables On Me" was next up and what a gutsy, blues version it was, great!
Her piano skills are just as strong as her vocals, riff after riff as clean as can be, she rolled through the
widest repertoire you can imagine.
Champian was not alone on stage she had Steve Fulton (dad) on flugelhorn.
His years with Clark Terry, are his link to the Golden Days of Jazz, and it shows in his absolutely smooth manner and technique. Featured on several numbers but the one that jumped out was "The Gypsy"...how many of you know that one?
Hide Tanaka was on bass...with bow in hand or not one of the best around. He knows the instrument
like it's part of his anatomy. Completely focused and when called on for a solo he never disappoints.
The drummer was, as always with Champian, Fukushi Tainaka, as all good jazz drummers he hols the group together and when it's time for him to solo he has all the moves. His riffs always make "sense"
and he never loses you with unnecessary rhythm changes, he is a master at the swing that Champian loves.
|Champian Fulton, The Garage.|
The last two tunes of the night were, 'The Breeze And I" the title tune from Champian's great CD, and she jammed away on it, and she closed with a tune her mom said she sang as a little kid "It Don't Mean A Thing, If It Ain't Got That Swing", and they did lots of swinging in the four hour jam.
Every member of this group lives for and loves JAZZ, and it shows.
Silky smooth, experienced, tight, and they work together as one very strong musical unit, get out and see them!
Champian will be at; Salt Creek Grill, Princeton, NJ... 4/27
The Garage, NYC...5/11
Cleopatra's Needle, NYC...5/14
by Pete Cataldo...follow Pete www.twitter.com/petecarma