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Jazz Play by Carol Robbins
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About the Artist
Carol Robbins grew up in Los Angeles, where piano lessons at an early age inspired her to experiment with jazz improvisation. By age ten she was studying harp and eventually became one of the handful of students ever accepted by the late pioneering harpist Dorothy Ashby. One of the world’s few jazz harpists, Ms. Robbins has recorded and performed with an eclectic variety of artists including Billy Childs, Linda Ronstadt, Teddy Edwards and Frank Sinatra. Her memorable television credits include Cheers, Frazier and The Tonight Show. Highlight appearances in 2004 included a live radio broadcast on KCRW with Australian singer Sia, a duo with Bea Arthur at the Hollywood Bowl in A Tribute to Peggy Lee, and an engagement as performer and instructor at the Lyon Healy International Harp Conference in Salt Lake City. Several of her jazz arrangements for harp have been published by Vanderbilt Editions, and her three independently-produced jazz CDs, Three and Four, Chords In Blue and Jazzplay are available on Amazon.com
Top customer reviews
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introduction to the finely attuned artistry
of harpist Carol Robbins. For those familiar
with this Music, the fact that Robbins was
an acolyte of acclaimed harp pioneer Dorothy
Ashby should be enough to make one highly
interested. For anyone with a thirsty ear,
this album from the Jazzcats label will be
a very welcome addition to any library,
regardless of individual
JAZZ PLAY is a stunning collection of
originals and standards treated with
consummate taste and daring; handled
with a poise which eases highly
intricate harmonics into a listener's
soul with smiling warmth. With all
the swing that one could want, the
subtle dance of Robbins' presentation
makes the work of JAZZ PLAY all the
That Robbins is a master of her
instrument becomes very clear very
quick. Her overall ability to highlight
the group effort, then, is as exemplary
as her frequent bravura outpourings
throughout the album. With an
instrumentation of brass, reed, guitar,
bass and drums, Robbins' harp provides
the nexus point for a refreshingly
fluid sound which reminds us that
genuine Jazz -at its most mellow- is
full of spirit and fire.
With an itinerary which runs from Bobby
Troup and Antonio Carlos Jobim to John
Lewis, Jerome Kern and more, JAZZ PLAY
is a reflective, often haunting voyage
of mystery and delight. Full of mastery
and aesthetic pedigree, it is the set's
winning joie de vivre which makes JAZZ
PLAY such an attractive presentation
for all listeners.
Serious play, indeed.
Stumped? Perhaps you came up with Alice Coltrane. If you're really hip, you might even know about Dorothy Ashby.
Now you can add Carol Robbins (who actually studied with Ashby) to this very short list. It's tempting to call her the "Bill Evans of the jazz harp" -- and so I just did. And this is a good thing.
Joined in various combinations by guitarist Larry Koonse, reedman Bob Sheppard, drummer Tim Pleasant, Derek Oles on bass, and Steve Huffsteter on trumpet and flugelhorn, Ms. Robbins has crafted a charming and enjoyable "ballads and bossas" outing here, with a more-or-less equal balance of standards and original tunes.
Jazz Play is elegant, classy, and seductive "dinner jazz" mood music that also rewards dedicated listening. If you're not already hip to the rare and unlikely beauty of the jazz harp, Carol Robbins will make you a believer.