Champian Fulton & Cory Weeds
Dream a Little… (Cellar Live)
I had not previously been a fan of jazz singer and pianist Champian Fulton, but I’m coming around. That’s thanks to this intimate duet record, which places the 34-year-old in the company of local concert booker, label owner, and alto saxophonist Cory Weeds. And it’s not so much the quality of the music that’s turning my head, but the quality of the listening.
Unconfined by a rhythm section, Fulton sounds freer and more playful than on earlier releases; her playing is bluesier and more muscular, especially in the lower registers. She’s also grown into her voice: the kittenish mannerisms and nasal inflections that seemed so affected early on in her career have coalesced into a mature style that honours the jazz past without aping it. Weeds, wisely, lets her shine, contributing sprightly melodic improvisations but never overplaying.