Carol Duboc encompasses an impeccable voice. However, she is also a composer, pianist, engineer, and producer. Carol has worked with some of the very best in music and has shown she is quite the force herself. Among peers, in the studio, and on stage, Carol is dynamite. Recently, Duboc released her eighth album titled “OPEN THE CURTAINS”–a title expressing the sentiments shared by her daughter Anna and herself. Why not “OPEN THE CURTAINS,” some may say? Through the music, Carol empowers women to step on out and know that you are important; just another poetic collection of songs stemming from her personal experiences and desire to rise above all circumstances. Carol enlisted girl power like no other to join her on this album. She called on colleagues Patrice Rushen, Sheila E., Bibi McGill, Queen Cora Coleman, Rhonda Smith, Aubrey Logan, and Mindi Abair. Having wrote seven songs on “OPEN THE CURTAINS,” she also wanted to highlight other female musicians that share her love for songwriting. So, she covered Patrice Rushen, of course, Peggy Lee, and Nina Simone. Recording the album was in her words an “enlightening experience.” Unbeknownst to her at the time, when the project was complete, it would become an empowering anthem for women. Carol is very clear about the message she feels and hopes fans can gain by hearing her music and that is: “let go and let God.”
Listen as Carol and I share another enlightening conversation:
Terri Lyne Carrington granted the wishes of her fans around the world. On August 7th, 2015, she released the follow-up to the GRAMMY award winner for Best Jazz Vocal Album “The Mosaic Project,” “THE MOSAIC PROJECT: LOVE AND SOUL.” The stellar all-female ensemble consists of extraordinary vocalists and astounding musicians. Adding intrigue by his own request is the undeniable voice of Billy Dee Williams, garnishing the project with spoken word. “THE MOSAIC PROJECT: LOVE AND SOUL” is Terri’s expression of the language between men and women. In creating so, she also added a voice message from her dear friend, the late George Duke. The list of exceptional artists featured include: Natalie Cole, Oleta Adams, Lizz Wright, Chaka Khan, Chante Moore, Valerie Simpson, Nancy Wilson, Paula Cole, Jaguar Wright, Ledisi, Lalah Hathaway, Rachel Z, Patrice Rushen, keyboardist Geri Allen, saxophonist Tia Fuller, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, and bassists Linda Oh and Meshell Ndegoecello. To say that is a lot of powerful talent on one project is an understatement. Terri as drummer, composer, producer, and singer created a project that was reflective of her love of R&B and Jazz. The twelve song album consists of six covers and six originals. She paid homage to great classics and singers of all time such as Frank Sinatra, Bill Withers, Ashford and Simpson, Patrice Rushen, and Duke Ellington. I asked her what she couldn’t do after learning that she also plays guitar, bass, and keyboards on some of the songs.
I am in awe of her talent. Listen, and you will be too:
Patrice Rushen has accomplished over the years what most musicians will never experience. Her gift has earned her insurmountable accolades including Grammy nominations. As an accomplished and world renowned pianist, composer, producer, and musical director, Patrice has worked with a vast array of artists across the genre lines. Beyond her 14 solo albums, she’s been honored by ASCAP and also received an honorary doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music where she’s currently a professor. Rushen gives back by working to ensure that music education is available to young people in LA. When she reflects over her career, although she could have never imagined it, it’s all been a learning experience. Being the best that she can be is how she approaches life, and she uses each experience as a building block for the next. Patrice’s advice is to “determine your why, and how it resonates with who you are.” She believes, “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Jazz singer-songwriter teams with Jeff Lorber for a deeply personal album about the demise of her marriage
Los Angeles, California (22 May 2013): Thinking that everything had fallen apart, the tears streamed down Carol Duboc’s face as she wrote the lyrics to “Smile,” the title track to the soulful jazz vocalist’s stunning sixth album that was released Tuesday (May 21) by Gold Note Music. She gazed at her young daughter’s smile and found hope. Hope infuses the painfully honest and courageously candid collection Duboc penned and produced with fusion pioneer Jeff Lorber about coming to terms with the end of her marriage. The shuffling beats of the funky first single, “Elephant,” one of Billboard BDSradio’s most added tracks this week, elusively dances around the realization that she and her husband faced: the amassed problems in the marriage were the elephant that could no longer be ignored.
Duboc and Lorber have a history of writing songs together that spans more than a decade yet became more frequent a few years ago when the chanteuse with the candied voice moved into a Los Angeles, Calif. neighborhood near Lorber’s home studio. They complement each other’s strengths as songwriters organically with Duboc coming up with catchy melodies and compelling storytelling lyrics for Lorber’s jazz-funk rhythms and grooves. Naturally turning to her own life for lyrical themes, Duboc delved into the flood of feelings that she was experiencing at the time in the troubled relationship. She intimately chronicled utilizing the process as a form of therapy allowing her to work through the morass. Despite the difficult subject matter, the songs are not bitter as Duboc instills a sense of hope into her melodies – perhaps because of her daughter’s presence. She remains poised throughout her cathartic emotional exploration.
“Smile” was recorded in the studio live with Duboc accompanied by a stellar ensemble consisting of Lorber (keyboards, Moog & guitar), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Grammy-nominee Brian Bromberg (acoustic bass), Jimmy Haslip (electric bass), 3-time Grammy nominee Hubert Laws (flute), Michael Thompson (guitars), Luis Conte (percussion) and Tim Carmon (piano). Her graceful, caressing and expressive voice nestles into the plush contemporary jazz rhythm beds, rides the R&B grooves, and adds depth to the urbane pop confections.
After “Elephant” opens Duboc’s diary, the comforting and inspiring title track emits radiant light in the face of challenging times as captured in the uplifting video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIPYZRYApRc). The sultry “Unpredictable” is a tantalizing fantasy about a stranger on which Thompson’s cool jazz guitar riffs admonish the dangers of acting on the daydream. Duboc realizes her dream of scatting along with one of Laws’ solos on “Telepathy” although at the time she was preoccupied trying to read her husband’s mind. The sensual “Atmosphere” sets the mood for romance in the hope of rekindling the love. A brisk Latin jazz adventure, Duboc puts her fear of flying aside to offer a pledge of faith and trust on “Parachute.” An ethereal sonicscape spotlighting Bromberg’s nuanced acoustic bass heightens the sex appeal of Duboc’s enticing purrs and prowls on “Behind A Kiss,” which finds physical love on the other side of the tumult. On the jazzy “Gliding,” the singer yearns to fly free from her troubles underscored by Laws’ soaring and fanciful flute. Begging to know what “Nobody Knows,” Duboc’s marriage was rocked unexpectedly after she returned home from the studio one day to learn something shocking about her partner, which proved to be the beginning of the end. Duboc describes the buoyant “Mythological” as being a “great closer for this musical and emotional journey.”
To help launch “Smile,” Duboc will perform a pair of album release gigs backed by Lorber, Haslip, drummer Tony Moore and guitarist Adam Hawley this Sunday (May 26) at Spaghettini in Seal Beach, Calif. and in Hollywood on May 29th at the Catalina Jazz Club.
Ever since her 2001 debut album, “With All That I Am,” Duboc has consistently set the bar high for her critically-acclaimed sophisticated urban-jazz tunes that have garnered gushing praise from the likes of the Los Angeles Times and JazzTimes. Laws appeared on that first album and remains a fixture on her recordings that over the years have spawned multiple Top 5 airplay singles at Radio & Records and included collaborations with Lorber, Gerald Albright and Patrice Rushen. Duboc’s gift for composing and arranging has enabled her to author songs on gold and platinum-selling albums by Patti LaBelle, Chante Moore, Tom Jones, Stephanie Mills, Jade, George Duke, Maurice White, and Fine Young Cannibals. Duboc was tapped as a special guest on several of the all-star Ladies’ Jazz series alongside Sarah Vaughan, Jane Monheit, Diana Krall and Dinah Washington. The beautiful blond Kansas City, Missouri native made her motion picture debut in 2005’s “Be Cool,” which starred John Travolta, Uma Thurman and Danny DeVito. Additional information is available at http://www.carolduboc.com.