OUT TOMORROW: Champian Fulton's LIVE FROM LOCKDOWN (f/ Stephen Fulton)
The multifaceted pianist and vocalist Champian Fulton is pleased to announce the release of her new album Live from Lockdown, due out September 10, 2021. After her captivating Sunday-evening webcasts took audiences by storm throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, Fulton decided to offer a permanent recording of her series. To be released digitally and as a limited edition compact disc, Live from Lockdown features a representative selection of some of the most popular sessions from Fulton and her steadfast collaborator, her father Stephen Fulton on flugelhorn and trumpet. A profound display of cheerful composure during an uncertain time, Live from Lockdown showcases the musicians’ sophisticated synchronicity among a collection of re-imagined jazz classics and Fulton originals.
When the COVID-19 lockdown swept Manhattan last spring, Champian Fulton saw her packed schedule full of concerts and tours vanish before her eyes. “I couldn’t believe it when all the cancellations started rolling in; it was really devastating to see an entire calendar year of touring vanish.” Fulton shares. With venues closed, and with social distancing in full effect, Champian and her father, noted trumpeter and flugelhornist, began performing at home for a virtual audience. The concerts were an instant success, bringing in over 20, 000 viewers on a given week, and winning legions of new fans for the Fulton family duo. “Live streaming was a total lifesaver for me. It not only gave me a way to stay motivated about my music but it connected me to my fans in a way I never knew possible. I felt so much love and positivity each Sunday; it kept me going through a very tough time.”
The success of the live-stream (which is still going strong albeit on a less rigorous schedule) inspired Champian to record a full album devoted to the concept. The resulting work goes well beyond the novelty, and is certainly far too cohesive a work to be thought of as a mere souvenir.
“For future listeners just hearing the music without knowing the context, it will be pleasure undiluted. For those of us who know the context, I think it will be one of those pleasures that deserves to be called sustaining, a gift that helped us in a rough time and, more importantly, told us it was worth getting through, ” says critic Charles Taylor in his liner notes.
Live From Lockdown opens with Ray Noble’s, “I Hadn’t Anyone Till You.” Champian’s rosy rendition maintains a hopeful charm, even with Stephen’s short blows and percussive notes resembling a heavy heart behind Champian in her effervescence. On an original composition from the duo, “Pass the Hat”, Stephen performs a buoyant lowdown and more stylistic offering that is mutually grasped by his daughter on the piano.
Champian’s diverse range across Live from Lockdown is a showcase of a newfound posture she revels in while in the company of her witty partner. Her vocal versatility is embodied on tracks like “What Will I Tell My Heart”, and as the liner notes point out, “she can go from a high whispery register, consistently present throughout the album, to sudden low swoops that bounce us back to earth.” Uniquely, the Fultons cover Harry Warren and Mack Gordon’s “I Had The Craziest Dream” nodding to the ambiguity of our present moment, while still directing our ears and eyes toward normality sometime soon.
Fulton considers her optimistic spirit a statement of purpose, as her musical repertoire has always tended toward the sunny. And radiant she is on this twelve-track selection in the company of her father. Live from Lockdown is a reminder of how in sync the pair are on their first ever duo recording together.
“The Sunday series of ‘Live from Lockdown’ really reminded me of the importance of the Jazz community, ” Fulton reflects. “I felt such friendship and kindness each week as people tuned in and chatted with me, checking out different records and sharing videos. It sustained me and gave me a hopeful perspective for the future of this music. I hope this recording gives the same feeling to the listener.”
1. I Hadn’t Anyone Till You
2. You’ve Changed
3. Satin Doll
4. Blow Top Blues
6. What Is This Thing Called Love
7. What Will I Tell My Heart
8. Look for the Silver Lining
9. I Had the Craziest Dream
10. Pass the Hat
11. I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles
12. Midnight Stroll
13. A Message from Champian and Stephen