The Smooth Jazz Ride: Carol Duboc Smile

Mellow, serene, and as satisfying as that first summer breeze, this release, Smile, from vocalist/songwriter Carol Duboc, hits the spot for those seeking that soothing mood of Carol Duboc contemporary jazz vocals.

For those fans of Duboc’s embracing style, you will not be disappointed. Even though this release was inspired by the demise of Duboc’s marriage, it is anything but a “woe is me” accounting of that dissolution. The singer, in fact, uses it as fuel for her creative fire and the catalyst for her soul-cleansing story told here in such honorable and classy fashion. Despite its underlying theme, this album embraces you with warmth and inspiration from the opening notes of the lead track, “Elephant,” a reference to the elephant in the room that could no longer be ignored with respect to her marital troubles.

I have always seen such honest cleansing as most honorable and fearless. Like another top-tier and charmingly candid vocalist who once opened up her book of life via an online diary, Duboc allows one to see and regard her story as a learning experience for all of us, especially those who unrealistically think that they may be immune to disappointment. It’s all in the delivery of the message, however, and this lady does it in such a way as to fully endear you to her.

Duboc co-produced this project – as she has done on more than one occasion over a period of 10 years – with keyboardist/composer/producer and fusion giant Jeff Lorber. Lorber brings along most of his Jeff Lorber Fusion band to add that extra exclamation point. The Lorber influence and style is most present yet subtle enough to allow Duboc to glow brightly.

These tunes are meticulously presented, and each song reveals a clear sentiment – always leading back to her experience. The entire story here is told without Duboc losing an ounce of poise. There is no anger or bitterness (just listen to the title track and the airy Latin jazz piece “Parachute” for examples).

Duboc and Lorber have produced a thought-provoking, moving, and alive project here. The musical beauty of this album is full of appeal and smiles…not tears. As Duboc sings in “Gliding,” she’s flying high, and “nothing’s gonna bring me down.” Well said. – Ronald Jackson