12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2001
This recording was made in 1991, but Barbara Carroll, to the best of my knowledge, is still singing and playing her piano in one of the best cabarets in the country. On the Upper East Side of Manhattan, at the Carlyle Hotel, across the lobby from the room where the headliners like Bobby Short and Dixie Carter and Barbara Cook are singing, Ms. Carroll plays to a small, devoted audience in a room with moody lighting, small tables and great acoustics: Bemelmans Bar. And she is superb. This album is a live performance in that hotel. Her jazz is subtle and stylish and sophisticated and oh, so easy to love. There is not just solo piano, but also a great deal of wonderful ensemble playing on this recording: Claudio Roditi (trumpet & flugelhorn), Akira Tana (drums) and a soloist in his own right, Jay Leonhart (bass)join Carroll in classic songs like the Gershwins' "But Not For Me" & Kern and Mercer's "I'm Old Fashioned" and Rodgers & Hammerstein's "The Surrey With the Fringe On Top" (Tell the truth: did you ever think that Broadway standard would make a good jazz number???) My favorite on the album is the one with the perfect late night lyrics: Rodgers and Hart's "Glad To Be Unhappy." Carroll also sings in a few of the songs and although her voice is no longer young, supple or full-throated, it is full of character and warmth and charm.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2005
It's always invaluable to hear cabaret artists in a live setting, and this set from the Carlyle showcases the talents of Barbara Carroll to indelible effect. Miss Carroll's treatments of the best of the popular songbook are beautifully structured; she can swing with the best, her bop-inspired piano rapping out great excursions through "The Surrey with the Fringe" and "But Not For Me". When she slows down, she can turn an instrumental like "Lotus Blossom" into a ruminative, wistful tone poem.
Also listen to her understated vocals on a late-night classic like "Glad to be Unhappy", where every nuance of Lorenz Hart's lyric is perfectly communicated. She also does justice to a Coleman and Leigh song, "A Moment of Madness", the bittersweet lyric perfectly matching her wry songspiel.
Barbara Carroll is one of those rare performers with whom quality is a given: her repertoire is fresh and stimulating, her musicianship exquisite. Do yourself and favour and listen to her.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2012
I had the honor of experiencing Barbara Carroll's
New Year Eve performance December 31, 1957, I believe
at the Carlyle. She is a jazz pianist like none other..