Tag Archives: Album

Champian Fulton & Cory Weeds: Dream A Little…

Champian+Weeds+Dream+a+Little+Record+Cover+HI+RES

Pianist and vocalist Champian Fulton is back with a new album called “Dream a Little…”. The album is a duet with alto sax player Cory Weeds from Vancouver, BC, Canada. It was recorded live at Norah’s, which is a house in North Vancouver where Norah hosts intimate music events with an audience of about 40 people.

Champian has more details about Cory: “Cory and I made a record together in 2014, and we have wanted to make another one because we really enjoy playing together. Usually when we do a Canadian tour, we play one or two duo shows and it’s always one of our favorite gigs, because the duo setting is so loose and freeing”. Cory Weeds may be best known as the founder and owner of Cory Weeds’ Cellar Jazz Club in Vancouver, which he successfully ran for more than 14 years. Weeds built the Cellar to become one of North America’s best Jazz clubs. He is also an excellent saxophonist with an endless number of great musicians he was able to play with.

Champian is very proud of this album, because it highlights her piano playing and singing more than any other album she has made.

The selection of tunes comes from fan requests and features some of the most popular tunes from the Great American Songbook.

The album starts with the title song “Dream A Little Dream Of Me” which sets the stage for the whole album, easy and relaxed playing, perfectly swinging with a well-adjusted balance between saxophone voice and piano.

“Fly Me To The Moon” comes next and even if this song is played and heard so many times the open interpretation of Champian and the excellent sax solo by Cory gave me great pleasure.

“Lullaby Of Art” from Champian’s “Speechless” album is the next song. This instrumental song gives Cory and Champian the opportunity for a longer and more expressive solo and both musicians make use of it. One of my highlights on the album.

The beautiful ballad “Darn That Dream” comes next. An open beginning with Champian singing and playing the piano , the second verse with saxophone fillings and then a very expressive sax solo  followed by an inventive piano solo which results in more than seven minutes of multi-colored entertainment.

“Pennies From Heaven” is then more steady with a walking piano bass line setting the foundation for Cory’s and Champian’s honky-tonk piano solo.

“Once I Had A Secret Love” increases the pace one more time and Cory Weeds gets another great moment to show his versatility and mastery with an excellent solo. Champian Fulton also plays a nice solo but she stays much cooler then Cory does.

The next song is “I Thought About You” and this is somehow the most important song on the album. More than nine minutes of rolling and growling of Champian on the piano and Cory Weeds in a bluesy mood give this song it’s character.

The album continues with a swinging “Tangerine” in nice contrast after the earthy and heavy song before.

“I’d Give A Dollar For A Dime” comes next and the duo returns to their open and soft ballad music with Cory using the space this setup gives him.

The album closes with “Save Your Love For Me” and this song shows one more time the fun both musicians have and how much they enjoy the freedom in a duo.

This is just a nice album, recorded in an intimate live session with no extra effects, so it is music pure where two great artists show how much fun musicians and audience can have playing and listening to these popular songs. If you want to bring this spirit in your living or dining room then order this album and you have Champian Fulton and Cory Weeds playing exclusively for you. Enjoy, you will not regret it.

Champian Fulton is permanently on tour, she will be in Germany and Scandinavia in November and she is quite often performing in New York City.  I saw here some years ago in Estavayer in Switzerland which was great fun and she promised to be back in Bern hopefully next year.

More details and tour dates of Champian Fulton are found on her website:
http://www.champian.net/

And finally a playlist of this album on Spotify:

NuHussel Orchestra: The Forest

81zEx0ux8uL._SS500_

From Hamburg, Germany comes an interesting band, or better a collective of musicians called the NuHussel Orchestra. It was founded in 2015 by Wanja C. Hasselmann (drums/composition) and the band combines modern jazz with rock, funk, hip-hop, electro and classical music. The result is a powerful and energetic blend of modern urban jazz music.

The line up of the orchestra is

  • Wanja C. Hasselmann – drums
  • Christopher Baum – keyboards
  • Florian Kiehn – guitar
  • Jonathan Ihlenfeld Cuñado – bass
  • Patrick Huss – percussion
  • Jan Gospodinow – trumpet
  • Max Rademacher – tenor sax & flute

The orchestra released their debut album “First Things First” in 2017, they won the Future Sounds Jazz Prize in the same year and were invited to the Leverkusener Jazztage in 2018. The band has released their second album “The Forest” on August 30. For this recording a stage was built where they could record and film the sessions over a five day period. 38 musicians from 12 nations worked on this project and the effort pays off with a fantastic album and impressive videos of the recording session.

The album begins with an “Overture” like an opera with the NHO string quartet playing a soft and sad ballad indulging itself in long notes, moving seamlessly over into the second song “Orange Sand” where the orchestra goes all out and shows it’s incredible power. Salsa inspired with drums, percussions and horns that dominate the sound, excellently supported by bass, keyboards, guitar and the string quartet. This is already one of the highlights on the album.


“Phoenix” is a very well organized  and structured compositions with many different elements. It starts with a rock guitar riff supported by the horn section. Dynamics go down after this intro and the electric piano presents the harmonic structure, the melody is played by trumpets and saxophones. The solo goes to Jan Gospodinow on trumpet.

The next song “Overwhelmed” features Alana Alexander on vocals. She also wrote the lyrics to this song. The band is rounded off with backing vocals, harp and the string quartet. Alana gets a chance to improvise freely only backed up by an organ which creates an intimate gospel feeling. The song ends with a grand finale. An impressive performance by Alana Alexander and definitely another highlight on the album.


The title song “The Forest” comes next and we hear a banjo with a fusion band which creates a unique galloping groove. This song combines again a lot of different ideas into one great and complex composition.

“KAOS” features the German rapper Nico Suave. This song is a re-arrangement of Nico’s song from his 2015 album “Unvergesslich”. The arrangement features the horn section and the solo is a nice dialog between keyboard and guitar.

The album continues with “Jamboree” which has an electro background and horns and organ playing the melody. Interesting combination which works well. Max Rademacher plays a beautiful flute solo and the banjo gets another chance to add it’s special touch.

“Home” is the next song, a soft and melodic tune with a lot of space which is used by Florian Kiehn for a fantastic guitar solo. We hear an interlude where the melody is played either by trumpet or guitar and harmonies are played by the string quartet which creates a very nice and unusual sound. The second solo goes to Christopher Baum on keyboards.

The album closes with “Vortex” where the NHO Big Band Horns support the NuHussel Orchestra. This horn section gives the band a complete new sound, like a modern big band. Max Rademacher and Jan Gospodinow are integrated into this horns section and play very good solos. Another song where I added the video:


This album is really an ambitious and unusual project but the result is definitely remarkable. The band combines different elements seamlessly into one great new musical experience. Please listen to the music and watch the videos. It’s worth it.

More details and tour dates of the NuHussel Orchestra are found on their website:

https://nuhusselorchestra.com/

And finally a playlist of this album on Spotify: