Joe Carroll: Man With a Happy Sound
Singer Joe Carroll is best known for his contributions to Dizzy Gillespie's bands of the late '40s and early '50s. His bebop vocals and scatting can be heard on many of Dizzy's classic nonsense (not meant at all in a derogatory way) numbers like "Oo-shoo-be-doo-be" and "The Land of Oo-bla-dee," and on well-known versions of "School Days" and "Lady Be Good."
Not blessed with much range or a particularly powerful voice, Carroll got by with humor, exuberance and great bebop instincts. He made only a handful of albums as a leader, few of which have been released on CD. In this reissue of a 1962 date originally recorded for Charlie Parker Records, he fronts an interesting soul-jazz lineup featuring Grant Green on guitar, Spec Williams on organ, Connie Lester on tenor sax, and Lee Ausley on drums.
Carroll and company reprise several numbers from the Gillespie days here, including all the tunes mentioned above. While Dizzy's presence is certainly missed, the group does capture the spirit of those early bebop sessions.