Kari-On Productions is proud to introduce
Sweet Lu Olutosin

Artist: Sweet Lu Olutosin

CD Title: Meet Me at the Crossroads

Label: SLR

Add Date: April 24, 2017

Street Date: April 21, 2017

Website: www.sweetlumusic.com

Artist Website

Scroll down for Bio, CD Description, Tracks, Times and Composers and Players.

  • Sweet Lu Olutosin
    You'll Never Find
  • Sweet Lu Olutosin
    Sister Sadie's Blues (Intimacy of the Blues) 2016

Vocalist “Sweet” Lu Olutosin proudly bears the honorific nickname of an honored of sweet bat swinging and basketball shooting sports heroes named Lou; from a jazz perspective he keeps good company in the sweetness department with the great saxophonist Lou Donaldson. Meet Me at the Crossroads is Lu’s third outing as a leader, and a honeyed follow-up indeed to his last date, Sweet Lou’s Blues from 2014.

Born in Gary, Indiana, raised primarily in Jackson, MS, and currently based in the Atlanta area, retired military Colonel Lu Olutosin has adopted a deeply ingrained familial immersion in gospel music to develop a most soulful approach to jazz song. Though anything other than gospel music was frowned upon in his upbringing, a chance aural encounter with Al Jarreau set Lu on the path to musical independence as he assertively responded to the irresistible call of the art of the improvisers.

For this latest outing Sweet Lu has enlisted the assured hand of pianist-composer Donald Brown in the producer chair. The two met

on the strength of Brown’s thumbs up to Lu’s lyric to Brown’s magnetic “Theme for Malcolm”. “Donald heard my lyric,” Lu reveals, and “he loved it,” said “it was very creative the way you told the story.”

For this crossroads meeting Lu has enlisted additional jazz classics to lyricize, including Billy Strayhorn’s sophisticated line “Intimacy of the Blues,” which Lu christens “Sister Sadie’s Blues.” For the album’s closer Lu wrote lyrics to Joe Henderson’s indelible Brazilian flavor “Recorda Me,” which in Lu’s context becomes “Don’t Forget to Remember.” “I wanted to express in a relatable way that the cycle of life is unending,” Lu says of his investment in the Henderson classic.

Lu’s original songs for this date include “Skin Game,” a particularly resonant lyric in the wake of the troubling racial chasm in this country. In his assertive, though lighthearted way, Lu decries the ludicrous nature of our historic skin game divide, dismissing this artificial separation of the human race just as his granny admonished him. “I intentionally, but playfully, poke the big bear called racism with an implied question: “what if we didn’t have skin color to cloud our judgments,” he asks.

Another of Lu’s originals, “Tunji Baby” details a particularly appealing set of feminine wiles, a tune whose flavor neatly straddles the invisible line of demarcation between R&B and jazz. “I just wanted to pay homage to all the beautiful, smart, fine women who are just outside the grasp of the man who’s hot on their trail. Maybe if the guy comes correct he can get Tunji,” Lu declares.

With “How You Do That,” in this world of seeming insurmountable hurdles, Lu sings of folks achieving the unexpected in a world of “haters,” delivered in an eminently radio-friendly manner. Clearly our leader has developed musical platforms that neatly balance originals and classics. In the case of the classics, dig how Lu re-harmonizes the timeless Gamble & Huff line “You’ll Never Find,” bringing that chestnut into the realm of jazz interpretation.

Achieving such a finely balanced program of material is no small task, but Lu Olutosin aces that mission. “I wanted to show the relevance of jazz music in today’s society; although there are considerable stylistic differences between today’s popular music and jazz, the roots of both come directly from African-American gospel music,” he asserts. Exemplifying this approach he cites the Kevin Mahogany-penned opener, “Still Swingin’”, where he successfully endeavors to “tell the story of how jazz has been beaten up, changed up, and we end it by giving a gospel flavor to inject the feeling of origin in the song,” neatly referencing the “Cross-Roads” theme of this release.

Of equal importance with his careful program selection, Lu has chosen his compadres well, accompanied throughout by the rhythm section of his arranging partner Tyrone Jackson on piano, bassist Kevin Smith, and drummer Henry Conerway III. For certain selections he broadens the instrumental palate with trumpeter Lester Walker, and tenor saxophonist Mace Hibbard, employing some of the Southeast’s finest practitioners to give wing to this balanced program.

“I believe jazz is, was, and will forever be the music of the struggle for freedom. I think the players who realize this point are the ones we feel and connect with on a spiritual level,” is how Lu sums up his approach here. Open up those ears and that sensibility and “Meet Lu Olutosin at the Cross Roads.”

-Willard Jenkins is a DC-area based journalist, broadcaster, and concerts/festivals curator who can be found at www.openskyjazz.com.

CD Description

Vocalist “Sweet” Lu Olutosin proudly bears the honorific nickname of an honored of sweet bat swinging and basketball shooting sports heroes named Lou; from a jazz perspective he keeps good company in the sweetness department with the great saxophonist Lou Donaldson. Meet Me at the Crossroads is Lu’s third outing as a leader, and a honeyed follow-up indeed to his last date, Sweet Lou’s Blues from 2014.

Born in Gary, Indiana, raised primarily in Jackson, MS, and currently based in the Atlanta area, retired military Colonel Lu Olutosin has adopted a deeply ingrained familial immersion in gospel music to develop a most soulful approach to jazz song. Though anything other than gospel music was frowned upon in his upbringing, a chance aural encounter with Al Jarreau set Lu on the path to musical independence as he assertively responded to the irresistible call of the art of the improvisers.

For this latest outing Sweet Lu has enlisted the assured hand of pianist-composer Donald Brown in the producer chair. The two met

on the strength of Brown’s thumbs up to Lu’s lyric to Brown’s magnetic “Theme for Malcolm”. “Donald heard my lyric,” Lu reveals, and “he loved it,” said “it was very creative the way you told the story.”

For this crossroads meeting Lu has enlisted additional jazz classics to lyricize, including Billy Strayhorn’s sophisticated line “Intimacy of the Blues,” which Lu christens “Sister Sadie’s Blues.” For the album’s closer Lu wrote lyrics to Joe Henderson’s indelible Brazilian flavor “Recorda Me,” which in Lu’s context becomes “Don’t Forget to Remember.” “I wanted to express in a relatable way that the cycle of life is unending,” Lu says of his investment in the Henderson classic.

Lu’s original songs for this date include “Skin Game,” a particularly resonant lyric in the wake of the troubling racial chasm in this country. In his assertive, though lighthearted way, Lu decries the ludicrous nature of our historic skin game divide, dismissing this artificial separation of the human race just as his granny admonished him. “I intentionally, but playfully, poke the big bear called racism with an implied question: “what if we didn’t have skin color to cloud our judgments,” he asks.

Another of Lu’s originals, “Tunji Baby” details a particularly appealing set of feminine wiles, a tune whose flavor neatly straddles the invisible line of demarcation between R&B and jazz. “I just wanted to pay homage to all the beautiful, smart, fine women who are just outside the grasp of the man who’s hot on their trail. Maybe if the guy comes correct he can get Tunji,” Lu declares.

With “How You Do That,” in this world of seeming insurmountable hurdles, Lu sings of folks achieving the unexpected in a world of “haters,” delivered in an eminently radio-friendly manner. Clearly our leader has developed musical platforms that neatly balance originals and classics. In the case of the classics, dig how Lu re-harmonizes the timeless Gamble & Huff line “You’ll Never Find,” bringing that chestnut into the realm of jazz interpretation.

Achieving such a finely balanced program of material is no small task, but Lu Olutosin aces that mission. “I wanted to show the relevance of jazz music in today’s society; although there are considerable stylistic differences between today’s popular music and jazz, the roots of both come directly from African-American gospel music,” he asserts. Exemplifying this approach he cites the Kevin Mahogany-penned opener, “Still Swingin’”, where he successfully endeavors to “tell the story of how jazz has been beaten up, changed up, and we end it by giving a gospel flavor to inject the feeling of origin in the song,” neatly referencing the “Cross-Roads” theme of this release.

Of equal importance with his careful program selection, Lu has chosen his compadres well, accompanied throughout by the rhythm section of his arranging partner Tyrone Jackson on piano, bassist Kevin Smith, and drummer Henry Conerway III. For certain selections he broadens the instrumental palate with trumpeter Lester Walker, and tenor saxophonist Mace Hibbard, employing some of the Southeast’s finest practitioners to give wing to this balanced program.

“I believe jazz is, was, and will forever be the music of the struggle for freedom. I think the players who realize this point are the ones we feel and connect with on a spiritual level,” is how Lu sums up his approach here. Open up those ears and that sensibility and “Meet Lu Olutosin at the Cross Roads.”

-Willard Jenkins is a DC-area based journalist, broadcaster, and concerts/festivals curator who can be found at www.openskyjazz.com.

  1. Still Swingin’ - 4:29
  2. I love you more than you’ll ever know - 5:00
  3. How They do That - 4:26
  4. Sister Sadie’s Blues (Intimacy of the Blues) - 4:48
  5. Skin Game (Granny said) - 4:12
  6. Dancea Swinga Nova (Swing A Nova) - 4:35
  7. You’ll Never Find - 5:01
  8. Tunji Baby - 4:56
  9. Don’t Forget to Remember (Recorda Me) - 4:49
  10. Skin Game (Sing a long) 4:12
  11. How They do That (Sing a long) 4:26

Instrument - Player - Pronunciation:

Sweet Lu Olutosin (vocals)

Donald Brown (piano, producer)

Tyrone Jackson (piano, arranger)

Mace Hibbard (tenor saxophone)

Lester Walker (trumpet)

Crystal Monet’ (background vocals)

Kevin Smith (bass)

Henry Conerway III (drums)

One Sheet: Click image to view PDF