97

Carol Robbins: Jazz Play

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Carol Robbins: Jazz Play There's a reason mythology puts the harp in the hands of angels. The instrument's lushness shimmers, light and untethered, a beautiful, silvery sound, floating in the clouds. But does that dynamic make for good jazz? The same question nags at the "with strings" genre, in spite of master works there by Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Art Pepper, Jim Snidero and many more. In some minds, "violins and cellos" by necessity equals classical music. Those same minds may put up the compartment walls against the harp, but that is—as one spin of harpist Carol Robbins' Jazz Play proves—a misguided construction.

The harp is not often heard in jazz, and less so with the harpist as a leader. That said, Carol Robbins has crafted a first-rate jazz outing, sophisticted and swinging, cool and sometimes slinky. Check out the Robbins-penned opener, "Buddy's Bite," with the leader cooking with cool heat behind Steve Hufstetter's relaxed muted trumpet groove. "The Cribbler," another Robbins tune, features saxophonist Bob Sheppard blowing with soulful, bluesy eloquence in front of a glowing harmonic backdrop before Robbins takes a turn—succinct, swinging, lighter than air. "Sollevare" is a light-stepping bossa that showcases some gorgeous harp/guitar interplay between Robbins and Larry Koonse.

The covers include pieces by Jobim ("O Grande Amor"), Jerome Kern ("I'm Old Fasioned") and John Lewis ("Skating in Central Park"). To lift the set from the "damned fine" to "truly excellent" category, we have bassist Darek Oles and drummer Tim Pleasant, locked in, providing solid rhythms and surprising colors all the way through.

A graceful and gorgeously assured set by harpist Carol Robbins.


Track Listing: Buddy's Bite; O Grande Amour; Still Light; The Meaning of the Blues; Darcy's Waltz; Tangier; Emilia; Don't Look Back; The Cribbler; Skating in Central Park; Sollevare; I'm Old Fashioned; Sambolero.

Personnel: Carol Robbins: harp; Larry Koonse: guitar; Bob Shappard: soprano and tenor sax; Steve Hufstetter: trumpet and flugal horn; Derek Oles: bass; Tim Pleasant: drums.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Jazzcats | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Bill Evans Bill Evans
piano
Bob McHugh Bob McHugh
piano
Frank Macchia Frank Macchia
composer/conductor
Harry Allen Harry Allen
saxophone
Dale Bruning Dale Bruning
guitar
Lisa Hilton Lisa Hilton
piano
David Garfield
keyboard
Greg Vail
saxophone

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Lowdown Hoedown" CD/LP/Track Review Lowdown Hoedown
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "Conditions" CD/LP/Track Review Conditions
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "Visual Music" CD/LP/Track Review Visual Music
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 18, 2016
Read "Stephan Crump's Rhombal" CD/LP/Track Review Stephan Crump's Rhombal
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 20, 2016
Read "Intersection" CD/LP/Track Review Intersection
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 9, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!