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Bill Carrothers: Red Planet

Read "Red Planet" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Since the '80s, Michigan pianist Bill Carrothers has inventively and tirelessly fashioned himself an enviable discography, which includes 2008's Home Row (Pirouet Records, 2008) with Gary Peacock and Bill Stewart and 2010's tribute to revered trumpeter Clifford Brown Joy Spring (Pirouet Records, 2010 ). A critical fave on the touring circuit, he's highlighted gigs the world over, with Birdland, Europe's Rising Star Tour, and the Montreal Jazz Fest among many highlights. His post-bop style has shared the stage with the ...

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Bill Carrothers: Family Life

Read "Family Life" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Pianist Bill Carrothers gets personal in Family Life. Entering the stream of Americana flowing straight down the middle of jazz, Carrothers produces his Kinderszenen (1838) after German composer Robert Schumann, or, at the very least, his Woodland Sketches (1896) after American composer Edward MacDowell. Family Life is is a carefully constructed set of musical miniatures capturing a national essence, that indefinable thing that made Aaron Copland Aaron Copland, George Gershwin George Gershwin, Duke Ellington Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk Thelonious ...

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Bill Carrothers: Family Life

Read "Family Life" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Minnesota-born pianist Bill Carrothers made the seemingly obligatory to pilgrimage to New York and spent five years there, doing the hustle and hang for work. That's how it's done in the jazz world. Or not. After five unhappy years in the Big Apple, Carrothers packed up his piano and moved to Michigan's Upper Peninsula--not exactly a jazz-centric locale--to resume a life more serene and start a family.Family Life, a solo piano offering, finds Carrothers in a mostly tranquil ...

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Bill Carrothers: Family Life

Read "Family Life" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

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 ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Bill Carrothers Trio: A Night at the Village Vanguard

Read "Bill Carrothers Trio: A Night at the Village Vanguard" reviewed by Warren Allen

Bill Carrothers Trio A Night At The Village Vanguard Pirouet Records 2011 Pianist Bill Carrothers could not have picked a better venue to cut a trio recording in. Whether it's the inimitable acoustics of the Village Vanguard, or simply the sheer number of essential records cut there over the decades shaping listeners' ears, recordings made at the Greenwich Village cathedral with the red awning somehow sound an extra bit more like jazz. That ineffable ...

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Bill Carrothers Trio: A Night At the Village Vanguard

Read "A Night At the Village Vanguard" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

The sonic character of New York City's Village Vanguard is one of sound as memory. There is a pillow of pungent warmth and familiarity surrounding the sounds captured that can be heard on the early recordings, like Sonny Rollins' A Night At the Village Vanguard (Blue Note, 1957), Bill Evans' The Complete Village Vanguard Sessions, 1961 (Riverside, 2005), and John Coltrane's The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings (Impulse!, 1997), as well as the later recordings like Tom Harrell's Live At ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Bill Carrothers Trio: A Night at the Village Vanguard

Read "Bill Carrothers Trio: A Night at the Village Vanguard" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Bill Carrothers Trio A Night At The Village Vanguard Pirouet Records 2011 Maybe everything that goes down in New York's Village Vanguard should be documented. The history of live albums recorded at the legendary venue, going back to the early days, includes standout sets by pianist Bill Evans and saxophonists Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and John Coltrane. An update into the new century finds the likes of pianists Brad Mehldau, Fred Hersch and Jason ...

INTERVIEWS

Bill Carrothers: See the Piano, Play the Piano

Read "Bill Carrothers: See the Piano, Play the Piano" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

"I want to keep my fingers in a state of chaos...I try to keep my fingers stupid."----Bill Carrothers, jazz pianist.

The quest for chaotic and stupid finger seems an unusual one for a jazz pianist. But then, a conversation with Bill Carrothers reveals an unusual man; one who is to-the-point and forthright to a fault, perhaps, and one who's words spill from his mind unfiltered by anyone's expectations. Much the way his playing on Joy Spring ...

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Bill Carrothers: Joy Spring

Read "Joy Spring" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Tribute albums often come in the form of imitative musical gestures from musicians of a like-instrument--such as a saxophonist paying tribute to John Coltrane by trying to copy his style or specific mannerisms. But pianist Bill Carrothers has crafted a different type of homage with Joy Spring, using the piano trio format to flesh out some malleable constructions of songs associated with trumpeter Clifford Brown.

Five Brown tunes and four songs by pianist Richie Powell--who performed with the trumpeter and ...

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Bill Carrothers: Joy Spring

Read "Joy Spring" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist Bill Carrothers has narrowed his often expansive focus. Where the marvelous and career-defining Armistice 1918 (Sketch Records, 2004) concerned itself with the scope of World War I, and I Love Paris (Pirouet Records, 2005) explored popular songs from the twenties through the forties, Joy Spring zeros in on a smaller slice of a more recent history: the music of died-too-young hard bop trumpeter Clifford Brown.Brown (b.1930, d. 1956), was a young phenom who enjoyed only a four-year ...

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Bill Carrothers: Keep Your Sunny Side Up

Read "Keep Your Sunny Side Up" reviewed by John Kelman

Bill Carrothers is one funny guy. One look at his website is enough to establish that, but for further proof one need only look as far as Keep Your Sunny Side Up. That's not to say Carrothers can't be pensively lyrical or downright abstract. But on this follow-up to I Love Paris (Pirouet, 2005), Carrothers demonstrates a near mischievous playfulness as he deconstructs a number of well- and lesser-known standards.

The first of two versions of the title track opens ...

GENIUS GUIDE TO JAZZ

High and Outside

Read "High and Outside" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

Prior to 1920, during the Deadball Era of professional baseball, a pitcher was not only allowed to alter a new baseball when it came into play, but was expected to do so. A variety of techniques and substances were used to change the appearance or trajectory of the ball, from roughing it up with an emery board to just plain spitting on it. The shine ball used paraffin wax to create a glossy sheen on one side of the ball, ...


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