Tag Archives: Champian Fulton

Champian Fulton & Cory Weeds: Dream A Little…


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:

And finally a playlist of this album on Spotify:

Swing in the Wind – Festival


I spent the last three nights in Estavayer-le-Lac to attend the 10th edition of the Swing-in the-Wind Jazz festival. Estavayer is in the same region where I live (State of Fribourg)  so I know where to go and where to find a parking spot. Estavayer is little medieval town and it has the perfect scenery to spend a summer night outside and listen to Jazz music.


I have attended this festival last year, so it was on my focus again and the line-up convinced me to buy a festival pass for all three nights for the main stage (most of the concerts are free, but there are some headliners for whom you have to pay).

The line-up was:

  • Thursday, July 20: Thierry Lang (he is the “local” piano hero, since he is also from the region)
  • Friday, July 21: Bireli Lagrene
  • Saturday, July 22: Champian Fulton, Rhoda Scott Lady Quartet

The first night started with Thierry Lang and his band with Darry Hall on bass and Mario Gonzi on drums plus Olivier Ker Ourio on harmonica. Their choice of tunes was a set of standards played very elegantly and confidently. Thierry Lang has huge fan base in the area and you don’t see him live very often. He was well prepared and it was great fun. At the end of their show they invited Diane Tell for two chansons (Diane Tell played the second show on that evening) and it was a nice surprise and a perfect encore for this concert.

The headliner for the second night was Bireli Lagrene and his Acoustic Quartet with Franck Wolf on saxophone, Hono Winterstein  on rhythm guitar and William Brunard on bass.


Bireli and his musicians showed their excellence and especially Bireli Lagrene is a guitar player who has no limits and who invents new techniques and sounds on his instruments. It was absolutely incredible what he is able to do. I saw him earlier this year at the Jazz festival in Bern, so I knew what to expect, but again I found some of his playing freshly and surprisingly.

The third night had two unknowns for me: Champian Fulton with her trio and Rhoda Scott with her Lady Quartet.

Champian Fulton came all the way from New York for this single concert to Switzerland and she was in a high spirits, she enjoyed playing very much and she and her band with Giorgos Antoniou ­on bass and Steve Brown on drums produced the perfect swing sound, sometimes very “vintage” but perfectly played. Champian is a great singer with a real bluesy voice and her piano playing has it’s best moments when she plays chord melodies. She presented some of the tunes of her latest album, which she did for posi-tone records (I follow this label for some years now and try to get each year all new releases). The songs on this latest CD called “Speechless” are instrumental-only, so if you search for an album where she sings, be careful. In total, a great show from her, impressive also the band enjoying to play real fast up-tempo tunes.

The last concert of the festival was the Rhoda Scott Lady Quartet with Rhoda Scott on the Hammond organ, Sophie Alour on tenor sax, Julie Saury on drums and a young excellent clarinet player whose name I unfortunately forgot. Again a band that sometimes sounded and played very “vintage”,  like the great combos did play in the 50′s or 60′s. Those bands with a Hammond organ play all very bluesy, old-fashioned funky and the Rhoda Scott Lady Quartet was no exception here. There approach is traditional but their playing wasn’t, especially Sophie Alour plays a contemporary style. Also striking was Julie Saury on drums, very driving and pushy. The band played some tunes of her latest CD “We Free Queens” which one could buy after the concert. I got one copy and it has very nice and well played material on it.

Finally a great thank you to the committee  that organized this festival so perfectly. There were some thunderstorms during the concerts but they caused no interruption to the concerts, unfortunately it was not always possible to sit outside and enjoy a balmy summer evening.

I will keep this festival on my list and watch out again next year what happens. If the line-up is interesting I will come again. I like the atmosphere in this little medieval town very much and I also like the whole concept of this festival with free and paid concerts, so aficionados come and pay for the headliners and those who want to sit outside, eat and drink and want to get entertained enjoy the free concerts all over Estavayer-le-Lac.