Vocalist Carol Duboc heats up L.A’s Baked Potato with hits from her new CD, “SMILE”

So, what happens when a sultry vocalist meets up with a master genius keyboardist? To some it may be referred to as a meeting of the minds and to others, a collaboration. However one might choose to view it, it did go down right here at SoCal’s world famous Baked Potato; a place where genius and sultry often collide….in a good way.

Vocalist, Carol Duboc and Jeff Lorber have teamed up like two mighty super hero’s bringing to the people of Universal City all the musical goods they’d been longing for.  Together they have ridden in under the cover of darkness to ignite the embers that rests inside the hearts of jazz goers here on the west coast.
A crew of five: Grammy Nominee, Jeff Lorber on keys while Grammy award winning Yellow Jackets bassist, Jimmy Haslip once again laid it down with his sixth sense or six string.  And then there is drummer, Tony Moore socking it to us with more than just your average four beat rhythm.  Tony  knows how to work all four limbs while keeping it all in his corner pocket.  And the very humble, Adam Hawley. God must have eaten his Wheaties the morning he created this monster guitarist. Standing quietly behind Carol and to the right of Moore, Hawley single handidly transformed his listening audience to true born again believers. I’m sure somewhere in the UK, the spirit of Jimi Hendrix is “smiling.”

With an ensemble of hard hitting musicians like that how can Carol Duboc possibly go wrong? She can’t! And she did not. Instead… she blessed the crowd with tunes from her SMILE CD and spared no extras. From the moment she made her way to the stage listeners knew right from the start that they were in the presence of a true talent. And SmoothJazzTimes.com was there to document the entire experience. And if there is one thing about the Baked Potato that would be worth mentioning, it is the rich jazz ambiance that settles in the room upon Showtime.

SMILE, (Gold Note Music), was co-produced by Carol and produced by Jeff Lorber. It brings us all of the richness we often look for when sifting through CD’s.  Carol sings about true life experiences within her own miraculous life; circumstances that cold possibly push most people over the edge; however, she took to the microphone and sang her way to an extraordinary calm that, thanks to her precious daughter, would be the center of her focus.
Not only is Carol Duboc sweet and poised for greatness, she’s also accommodating. Recently, she agreed to sit for a short Interview with SmoothJazzTimes.com’s Patricklee Hamilton in Universal City, Ca. She speaks of how she arrived at naming the title track to her CD, her faith and how through the years she and Jeff were destined to eventually meet.

SJT: What’s the story behind “Smile”?
CD: Well, the story is that for the last two years I’d had an y’know, difficult time in my relationship. And it’s been just so up and down. And I looked at my daughter one day and she was (smiling), and I realized, you know what, as long as she is happy, that’s really all that matters. Anything that’s going wrong will be okay as long as she’s smiling.

SJT: Duboc is an interesting last name. Can you tell us the history behind the Duboc name?
CD: It’s French, you know and actually my uncle used to try to find other Duboc’s with
the same spelling in the United States and there weren’t any that were family now recently because
I guess it’s from Paris or whatever-(smiles).

SJT: It’s sort of a different last name…
CD: Yep! (Then outta nowhere- she belts out this 🙂 “Shoo-bee-Du-Boc” (as though she were scatting). After which chuckles from both, Carol and SJT.
SJT: How did you and Jeff Lorber meet and decide to collaborate for the “SMILE” project?
CD: Well, you know, what happened was, I met Jeff 10 years ago. And I’ve always been a writer. I’ve written for other people as well and Publisher EMI said, you know, I want you to meet Jeff Lorber; so we met. And, we wrote together and had a chemistry right off the bat. I was actually at the time briefly signed to Maurice Whites label.

SJT: Really? How cool!
CD: Yeah, and Maurice had me writing all these songs and ended up for various reasons we didn’t finish it. But the good news is that Jeff and I had a good relationship out of that and ended up writing for my first album with ALL THAT I AM, no, it was for my second album DUBOC.

SJT: How did it do?
CD: It did well. DUBOC did really well.

SJT: Internationally or…here in Northern America?
CD: Well, it did both, I mean I got some good base from that. And then, you know, I sprouted a family and took a little time off then he (Jeff) looked me up when I moved back to Los Angeles and said he wanted to write some more songs. He (Jeff) said I remember when we wrote together before we wrote something like 12 songs in one week. (Back story): one of my really good friends, Wilt Chamberlain, because I was an athlete as well…

SJT: Were you?
CD: Chuckles, yeah. And I met him when I was really young and he (Chamberlain-almost family in a way) used to say I gotta have you meet my friend, Jeff because he’s doing the same thing you are. But this was (years) ago. I mean, I was like, still in college or so…But the interesting thing is that Jeff knew him growing up as well. And even though we don’t talk about it…it’s kind of like, (there) we both knew him in different kind of ways as to allot of other people. And although I didn’t meet (Jeff) then, we ultimately met after (Chamberlain) passed.

SJT: That’s an awesome story!
CD: Yeah, I’ve actually not shared that before.

SJT: Really?
CD: Chuckles.

SJT: Would you say that you and Jeff have a unique chemistry; a bond?
CD: Yes.

SJT: Would you work with Jeff in the future?
CD: Sure, I mean, I’d love to. It just kind of falls together, it’s not forced, it’s easy. His tracks seemed to just fit what I’m thinking. Sometimes he (Jeff Lorber) would have something started-sometimes it’s just a chord and then I’ll hear the melody. So, it’s almost like improvising. I can remember on my first album, Gerald Albright played on my first album and I sang all of the parts to him and he (Gerald) said “Gee, sing us a big band chart, here.” (Chuckles). So it’s kind of fun, you know, with Jeff because he’s so good with instrumentalist and singers and I kind of like to combine the two and even on this album (Smile), it’s more of a singers album.

SJT: We are looking forward to seeing your show.
CD: It will be fun. The “LIVE” shows are fun.

SJT: And Jimmy (Haslip) on bass…
CD: Oh my God! He’s amazing!

SJT: The late vocalist, Phyllis Hyman took her own life and leaving in her wake a suicide note that read in part: “I’m tired. I’m tired. Those of you that I love know who you are. May God bless you!” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phyllis_Hyman
You mentioned that you had had some difficult times in past relationships and was wondering if your lyrics reflected in a sense a Hyman motif?
CD: I know who Phyllis Hyman is but I do not know much of her music and so that would be a hard comparison to make. But I have faith and I am also Christian. I believe in God. And I am really trying to get stronger and stronger in a sense of letting go and letting God. And you know at this moment I realize that this child (Carol’s daughter) is from God and it’s going to be okay because I know what my role is.

SJT: Carol, SJT would like to thank you for sharing a few moments with us here in Universal City and we look forward to experiencing your “LIVE” performance later tonight. Thank you!

A Kansas City native, Carol Duboc currently lives in Los Angeles, CA.  She has performed with a myriad of A list singers, producers and songwriters like Patrice Rushen, Gerald Albright and Huber Laws only to name a few. Carols is currently on tour performing throughout the West Coast promoting her SMILE CD with producer, Jeff Lorber. Be sure to catch her show.
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