1

Carol Robbins: Taylor Street

Roger Farbey By

Sign in to view read count
Carol Robbins: Taylor Street
In the context of jazz, the harp is a rare instrument indeed and there are proportionately few players in the field. Two exponents of this rare art are Alice Coltrane and the British harpist David Snell whose library composition "International Flight" is a jazz harp classic. A third is Carol Robbins, whose album Taylor Street is the follow-up to her 2012 album Moraga.

It's important to emphasise that this is an ensemble album, so the musicians are afforded generous amounts of soloing time. Billy Childs, Curtis Taylor and Bob Sheppard all solo on the lively opener "The Flight" and Curtis Taylor leads the melody on the tranquil "Deep Canyon" with Carol Robbins accompanying in a harmonic role and later has a brief harp solo.

However, there's more substantial harp soloing on the bluesy title track and the ballad "Full Circle." Darek Oles opens "Trekker" solo, culminating in a bass vamp after which point Robbins eloquently solos, even insinuating some intriguingly blues- inflected glissandi.

On "The Chill" (a dulcet waltz) there's sumptuous interplay between harp, guitar and harmon-muted trumpet and later, Bob Sheppard is heard on tenor sax. The pastoral "Grey River" imbues a sense of the meditative quality of the harp, and twinned with clarinet is an irresistible tune. The album concludes with the quietly funky groove of "The Local" where Robbins imparts some more bluesy harp and Sheppard solos robustly on tenor followed by Billy Childs on Rhodes.

If there are any criticisms to be made of the album they are only minor ones; occasionally the harp, guitar and Fender Rhodes suffer from perceived sonic ambiguity in that they are marginally similar sounding. The other comment is that Robbins could be higher up in the mix given that the harp is intrinsically a quiet instrument. Also it would be great to hear more of Robbins's harp solos, but as stated at the outset this is an ensemble affair and a very good one at that.

Track Listing

The Flight; Deep Canyon; Taylor Street; Full Circle; Trekker; Smooth Ride; The Chill; Grey River; The Local.

Personnel

Carol Robbins: harp; Billy Childs: piano, Fender Rhodes; Bob Sheppard: soprano sax, tenor saxophone, clarinet; Larry Koonse: guitar; Curtis Taylor: trumpet; Darek Oles: bass; Ben Shepherd: electric bass; Gary Novak: drums.

Album information

Title: Taylor Street | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Jazzcats

Post a comment about this album

Tags

View events near Los Angeles
Jazz Near Los Angeles
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

Reels
Matthew Shipp / Whit Dickey
Dreamsing
Rachel Musson
Invisible Words
Falkner Evans
Soundscapes
Bob Mintzer & WDR Big Band Cologne
Another Land
Dave Holland
Native Sons
Los Lobos

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.