Liane Carroll ___________________________________
Splash Point Records SPROO3CD * * * *
Liane Carroll (v, p, ky, melodica), Roger Carey (b), Greg
Leppard (d) plus special guests Bobby Wellins (ts),
John Parricelli (g) and Ian Shaw (v). Rec. June 2005
'The recipient of not one but two gongs at the 2005 BBC Jazz Awards - proving beyond any doubt that not only is there a God, he's also something of a jazz fan - expectations for this release couldn't possibly be any higher. Well, if you're only going to buy one vocal jazz album this year, make sure this is it. Recorded in a single day at London's legendary Abbey Road Studios, this is the kind of disc that will have jaded reviewers nationwide blubbing over their laptops with gratitude. There are laughs, tears, adroit shifts between wistful reflection and joyous energy - and that's just the album opener. Including brilliant, imaginative reworkings of standards (They Can't Take That Away From Me'), a barnstorming centrepiece in the form of back-to-back Laura Nyro tunes ('California Sunshine Boys', 'He's A Runner'), 'Eleanor Rigby' like you're hearing it for the first time and the bittersweet 'I Wish You Love' to wrap things up, Carroll has never been caught in finer voice. While some vocalists can seem way too tentative on the mic, not getting too close for fear of getting a rash, Carroll gives it to you with both barrels. It's invidious to single out a particular track, for praise, but her arrangement of Janis Ian's 'At Seventeen' is close to musical perfection.'