It’s worth noting anytime a jazz vocalist delivers an album of original
music, rather than reimagining standards or performing jazz arrangements
of popular music. That’s what we get with Carol Duboc’s Colored
Glasses (Gold Note Music, 2015).
Producer Duboc sings lead on all tracks and background on several.
Co-producer Jeff Lorber handles keyboards, piano, bass, programming and
guitrs. Other players are Vinnie Colaiuta, drums; Jimmy Haslip, electric
bass; Brian Bromberg, acoustic bass; Lenny Castro, percussion; Hubert
Laws, alto flute on “Celestial Skies”; Eric Marienthal, soprano sax on
“Hypnotic”; Paul Jackson Jr., electric guitars on “Spinning,”
“Wavelength,” “Breathing,” “Hypnotic” and “Code Red”; Michael Thompson,
guitars on “Celestial Skies,” “Walking in My Sleep,” “Colored Glasses”
and solo on “Breathing”; Dave Mann, horn arrangements and all horns on
“Every Shade of Blue,” “Trajectory” and “Wavelength”; Jeff Pescetto,
additional background vocals on “Trajectory”; and Lori and Sharon Perry,
additional background vocals on “Walking in My Sleep.”
Horns are brought in to add depth “Every Shade of Blue.” The
contradiction is that the lyrics speak of longing, sadness, despair, but
the music is full of joy, life, energy. The union is an ironic, yet
pleasing audio experience.
“Wavelength” is accompanied by an uplifting video, available on YouTube.
The song is both romantic and global. Duboc sings of a personal
relationship where the two people are mentally connected. However, one
can easily expand the meaning beyond that parameter and consider a
connection among family, friends or community. Mann’s horn arrangement
and Haslip’s riveting bass line enhance the piece.
The ensemble gets funky with the finale, “Code Red.” The instrumental
side is signature Lorber. Duboc sings of being so deeply in love, she
knows she’s heading for disaster and calls for help. During the bridge
after second verse and chorus, Duboc, Lorber and Haslip are in unison
for a series of low-end phrases. Sprinkled throughout the lyrics are
twists on public safety announcements, such as a spin on “stop, drop and
Colored Glasses has tremendous balance throughout. Even without a
lot of instrumental solos, every musician stands out, but no one is
overpowering. Even when Duboc is singing, one can easily hear Jackson’s
rhythm guitar, or Colaiuta’s mixing it up on the kit.
Duboc and Lorber co-wrote all songs for Colored Glasses. Duboc
has written or arranged for several artists, including Patti LaBelle,
Chante Moore, Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire, George Duke and Ricky
Lawson. Her big screen debut was in the film, Be Cool. She’s
also appeared on several Ladies’ Jazz all-star compilations alongside
Sarah Vaughan, Jane Monheit, Diana Krall, Dinah Washington and others. A
native of Kansas City, Missouri, Duboc started playing piano at age 5
and saxophone at 8. She moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of
Southern California Thornton School of Music, where she majored in vocal
performance and music composition, and minored in music engineering.