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Sunday, 25 January 2015

Barbara Carroll born 25 January 1925

Barbara Carroll (born Barbara Carole Coppersmith on January 25, 1925 in Worcester, Massachusetts) is a jazz pianist, composer and vocalist who has long been regarded as one of the most fascinating purveyors of swinging jazz piano and rhythmic, expressive vocals.

She began her classical training in piano at age eight, but by high school had decided to become a jazz pianist. She attended the New England Conservatory of Music for a year, but left it as it conflicted with working for bands. In 1947 Leonard Feather dubbed her "the first girl ever to play bebop piano." In the following year her trio, which had Chuck Wayne on guitar and Clyde Lombardi on bass, worked briefly with Benny Goodman. Later Charlie Byrd replaced Wayne with Joe Shulman replacing Lombardi. After Byrd left she decided to have it be a drums, bass, and piano trio.

In the 1950s she did noteworthy solo work as well as work with her trio. She also began to cross-over doing a jazz-waltz and her trio worked on Me and Juliet by Rodgers and Hammerstein. That stated, the end of the decade saw her career ebb. This occurred because of changing musical tastes and personal concerns.

In September 1954 Barbara married Joe Shulman, a member of the trio. The marriage lasted less than three years as he died of a heart-attack in 1957 at 33. She later married former bandleader Bert Block and had a daughter. She decided in 1965 to retire from jazz and devote her time to her family.

        Here's 'S Wonderful from above album. Recorded 1957. 
In 1972 she revived her career due to a renewed interest in her work. In 1975 she was asked by Rita Coolidge to work on a session for A&M. Then in 1978 she toured with Coolidge and Kris Kristofferson. In the following two decades she became known as a cabaret musician.
Her work over the past 50 years has spanned everything from appearances on Broadway with her trio in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Me and Juliet to performances in concert halls, jazz clubs, on major TV shows and festival stages throughout the world. She has performed for President and Mrs. Clinton at the White House and has made more than thirty major label recordings with an array of jazz legends including Art Farmer, Claudio Roditi, Bucky Pizzarelli and John Pizzarelli.
Ms. Carroll, whom many regard as New York’s “first lady of jazz piano,” recently completed a record-breaking run at the famed Bemelmans Bar in the Carlyle Hotel, where she appeared annually for two extended engagements for 24 consecutive years. Now performing nearly every Wednesday at Birdland (with bassist Jay Leonhart and Joe Cocuzzo on drums), Ms. Carroll has returned to the kind of jazz clubs that made her famous in the 1950s.
Her 2005 release of “Live At Birdland,” showcases her extensive repertoire coupled with her intimate knowledge and presentation of jazz piano at its best. She has gained new appreciation in the cabaret world, and continues working to the present. 

In the current decade she’s been awarded a Lifetime Achievement award and the “Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz.”(Info edited from Wikipedia & All about jazz)
Legendary jazz pianist Barbara Carroll at the Algonquin Hotel, May 25, 2008. With bassist Jay Leonhart, she performs her signature closing song, "Old Friends" by Stephen Sondheim.

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For The Barbara Carroll Trio - Plays Standards and Funny Face, go here:
01. The Trolley Song
02. I’ve Grown Accustomed to His Face
03. Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries
04. It Might as Well Be Spring
05. Will You Still Be Mine?
06. Love Is Just Around the Corner
07. Easy Living
08. Happy to Make Your Acquaintance
09. Blues for Blue Eyes
10. Let’s Kiss and Make Up
11. Funny Face
12. He Loves and She Loves
13. 'S Wonderful
14. How Long Has This Been Going On?
15. Clap Yo’ Hands
16. Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off
17. Someone to Watch Over Me
18. Who Cares?
19. They Can’t Take That Away from Me
20. Love Is Here to Stay
21. They All Laughed

This CD presents the two albums The Barbara Carroll Trio recorded for the Verve label in 1957.

On the first, “Barbara,” she confines herself to piano on a selection of familiar standards, with a strong leaning towards slow ballads. Relaxed and refreshingly at ease, she leisurely explores the tonal colours suggested by the material in a reflective approach to trio playing. On the up-tempo tunes, Mine and Acquaintance, the bassist Joe Shulman’s strength and intelligence is evident, while drummer Bill Faite’s brushwork is a model of good taste.

The second album presents six songs from “Funny Face,” along with six from several Gershwin shows. This set contains a pair of nicely off-hand vocals, Who Cares?, and a lightly swinging version of ‘S Wonderful that she sings much in the sophisticated style of Bobby Troup. With Joe Shulman on bass, and Joe Petti on drums, the trio’s approach displays a blend of imagination, taste, touch, and swing.

And though Barbara Carroll was by no means an innovator or trailblazer, she was a talented performer with a distinctive musical personality that enabled her to do justice to her repertoire and communicate musically with the listeners – attractive and hardly minor gifts at any level of music.

For Barbara Carroll - Everything I Love (1995) go here:

For Barbara Carroll - Something to Live For (2008) go here: