Carol Duboc – Colored Glasses (2015)

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From the sound of Colored Glasses, Carol Duboc’s seventh release, I’ll have to examine her entire catalog. An accomplished jazz singer, Duboc flexes her R&B chops as well as her songwriting skill on this self-penned 10-song album.

Colored Glasses begins with the layered and lush “Hypnotic,” a slow burning testament to the pull of love. Saxophonist Eric Marienthal provides soprano saxophone leads while Carol Duboc’s voice floats over the grove provided by master bassist Jimmy Haslip and drum guru Vinnie Colaiuta. On the track “Every Shade of Blue,” producer Jeff Lorber gets in on the act. In addition to holding down production duties, Lorber adds his distinctive stamp on keyboards and programming. His organ solo is effective but brief, however Duboc’s sass-filled vocal keeps everything moving.

“Celestial Skies” then shifts the tempo and tone of the album. In “Every Shade of Blue,” Carol Duboc explored the lower part of her wide range. With “Celestial Skies,” she shows how versatile her instrument is. The ballad is simply lovely and features a moving flute solo from Hubert Laws. The song “Spinning” evokes memories of classic ’70s-era R&B. Jeff Lorber is a gain the featured soloist, recalling an almost Rufus-like synth solo, but Duboc’s lyric simultaneously evokes images of nervousness and anticipation. Percussionist Lenny Castro augments the rhythm section on this gem.

Her title track picks up the pace. Guitarist Paul Jackson Jr. and Michael Thompson have a joyous interplay, which helps propel “Colored Glasses.” That energy is revisited with the song “Code Red,” ending the album with a blast of jazz/R&B energy. Duboc’s tale of desire, regardless of the warning signs, is a familiar tale to those who have loved and lost. The infectious grove and passionate vocals all but make you miss the song’s warning signs. Ultimately, you’ll find that listening to Carol Duboc’s Colored Glasses is the best kind of therapy.

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
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