Liane Carroll – Up and Down
(Quietmoney Recordings QM00101. CD Review by Chris Parker)
As anyone who’s witnessed her live performances will know, Liane Carroll is a tremendously versatile, accomplished, yet thoroughly unpretentious artist, moving easily between chatty intimacy and dramatically emotive power as the mood and the demands of her wide-ranging repertoire take her.
On this, a rare studio album produced by trumpeter James McMillan, she touches most of the musical bases familiar from her gigs: heart-on-sleeve balladry (‘What are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?’, ‘Turn Out the Stars’, ‘My Funny Valentine’); full-on hurtling jazz (‘Witchcraft’, ‘Old Devil Moon’); plus her own highly individual takes on classics from rock (Tom Waits’s ‘Take Me Home’) and jazz (Bobby Timmons’s Blakey vehicle ‘Moanin”.
Alongside her searingly powerful (and occasionally touchingly confiding) voice, a starry assembly of musicians, Kenny Wheeler, Kirk Whalum, McMillan himself and Julian Siegel among them, are tellingly deployed, but throughout, the focus is firmly on the Carroll voice and sensibility, inhabiting each song with all the honesty, integrity and sheer communicativeness that have won her, of late, the awards she so richly deserves.