Champian Fulton Trio – Sometimes I’m Happy (2008) [Japan 2018]
SACD Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 57:09 minutes | Front/Rear Covers | 2,29 GB
or DSD64 2.0 (from SACD-ISO to Tracks.dsf) > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | Front/Rear Covers | 2,26 GB
or FLAC (carefully converted & encoded to tracks) 24bit/48 kHz | Front/Rear Covers | 687 MB
Champian Fulton is a talented singer/pianist from Oklahoma who now resides in New York City. She learned music from his father who is a renowned jazz trumpeter and educator. Champian graduated from the State University of New York with a music degree in 2006. In this fabulous debut album, she shows the full extent of her talent: sunny, lovely, expressive and soulful singing voice and formidable, bebop-based piano chops. She is ably supported by fellow New York residents, Neal Miner on bass and Fukushi Tainaka on drums.
The daughter of jazz trumpeter Stephen Fulton, Champian Fulton had plenty of early exposure to the music through her father’s playing with his friends, among them Clark Terry and the late Major Holley. Champian began piano lessons at the age of five and as she grew interested in singing as well, she began accompanying herself. Forming her first jazz band around the age of nine (the Little Jazz Quintet), she re- located to New York City in 2003. Champian Fulton is a refreshing change from many of the singing jazz pianists of the past two decades, as she excels in both areas while never resorting to simply doing the minimum to get by in her interpretation of standards. She builds on the success of her 2007 debut Champian when she was backed David Berger’s Sultans of Swing. But this time it’s a trio date for Tetsuo Hara’s outstanding Venus label, with bassist Neal Miner and drummer Fukushi Tainaka, with Fulton playing and singing a dozen timeless pieces that were penned long before her birth in 1985.
While Fulton’s voice is youthful, her vocals often incorporate the touches of a veteran, including a defiant interpretation of “When Your Lover Has Gone” that has a sassiness reminiscent of Carmen McRae (who too infrequently accompanied herself on piano, though she was a fine pianist), along with her superb vocal inflections and bebop chops in her driving setting “September in the Rain”. Fulton also masters slow ballads, such as Duke Ellington’s powerful “All Too Soon,” in which she communicates the sorrow of lost love desiring a reunion as if she has lived the lyrics. The one piece that is not as well known is “Whistling Away the Dark” (a superb ballad by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer, performed in waltz time), which Fulton skillfully interprets as if it has been a part of her repertoire since she began singing. The closing track features Fulton singing “Tea For Two” over Miner’s walking bass, before she and Tainaka join him for a swinging instrumental break. Champian Fulton is a gifted musician who is deserving of wider recognition.
01. When Your Lover Has Gone
02. Just Squeeze Me
03. Pennies From Heaven
04. All Too Soon
05. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams
06. It’s All Right With Me
07. September In The Rain
08. He’s Funny That Way
09. Sometimes I’m Happy
10. Darn That Dream
11. Whistling Away The Dark
12. Tea For Two
Champian Fulton – piano, vocal
Neal Miner – bass
Fukushi Tainaka – drums
Produced, Mixed & Mastered by Tetsuo Hara. Engineered by Katherine Miller.
Recorded on April 10 & 11, 2008 at Avatar Studio in New York.
Venus Hyper Magnum Sound Direct Mix. VENUS Japan # VHGD-275.