4

Bill Carrothers: Family Life

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Bill Carrothers: Family Life Nostalgia, if overused, can be a dangerous drug but, when the dosage is just right, it can serve as a wonderful gateway into an artist's personalized realm. Such is the case with pianist Bill Carrothers' Family Life. Carrothers broke his trio recording habit, which is well-documented on his prior Pirouet releases, and sat down all by his lonesome to produce this pianistic trip down memory lane.

While no single mood or ideal defines this work, Carrothers often conjures a bucolic and peaceable beauty that can be viewed as a musical representation of his family's rural existence in a sparsely populated section of Michigan. The album-opening "Our House," "Bud And Bunny" (borrowing his children's nicknames for a title) and "Good Dog" all wear this quality well. Other numbers ("For Better And For Worse") hint at this ideal, but in a more reflective and less obvious manner.

Carrothers' carefree delivery on some of this material is essential to its character, but it doesn't define his character. When he digs deeper and goes beneath the surface, he provides a more well-rounded view of himself and he comes up with some music that goes a step---or a mile---beyond the beauteous and subdued. His bluesy and free-spirited side comes through during "A Night Out," he taps into his inner-Philip Glass for the arpeggio-driven "Northern Lights," and he delivers dreary, yet steadfast and resolute thoughts during "Forefathers." Dark musings come into play on "Schizophrenic Weather," which alludes to Thelonious Monk in subtle fashion and proves to be one of the high points on the album, but the most outlandish and enjoyable number is the action-packed "On The Sled." Steady, clustered chords mix with bluesy ideas and strange asides as Carrothers creates some sort of hybrid of Igor Stravinsky and Jaki Byard. While this piece proves to be a real eye-opener, Carrothers usually prefers soothing thoughts to musical sensationalism.

This album is essentially an autobiography for the ears, and an excellent one at that. Carrothers filters his very being through his fingers on the brilliant, personalized piano statement of Family Life.

Track Listing: Our House; Scarborough Fair/Peg; For Better And For Worse; Bud And Bunny; Northern Lights; Snowbound; On The Sled; Schizophrenic Weather; Forefathers; Good Dog; A Night Out; Harbor Lights; News From Home; Gitchee Gumee; When We're Old.

Personnel: Bill Carrothers: piano

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Pirouet Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Oaktree CD/LP/Track Review Oaktree
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Green With Envy CD/LP/Track Review Green With Envy
by James Nadal
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Luma CD/LP/Track Review Luma
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 28, 2017
Read My Foolish Heart CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Ha Noi Duo CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Apocalypse" CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Falga" CD/LP/Track Review Falga
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 18, 2016
Read "Handel:  Complete Harpsichord Music" CD/LP/Track Review Handel: Complete Harpsichord Music
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 2, 2016
Read "Tony Kadleck Big Band: Around the Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Tony Kadleck Big Band: Around the Horn
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Pocono Git-Down" CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "Playgrounds" CD/LP/Track Review Playgrounds
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 10, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!