Carol Robbins – TAYLOR STREET: It’s been quite a while since I last reviewed Carol’s wonderful jazz harp work (issue # 127), but this new January 2017 release features nine all-original compositions performed with some mighty big names in jazz (Billy Childs on Piano/Fender Rhodes, Bob Sheppard doing sax/clarinet, Larry Koonse on Guitar, Curtis Taylor performing on trumpet, Darek Oles doing bass, Gary Novak on Drums and Ben Shepherd doing electric bass)… it’s a true stunner… every tune will carry you away into the jazz etherspace… just scope out the superb interplay between all the players and Carol’s harp on “Trekker” to become a (most willing) believer. Some listeners are not dedicated to the harp as a jazz instrument – but they certainly will change their minds after listening to the vibrant 5:24 opener, “The Flight“… Billy’s keys are critical to this one, but all the players join Carol’s swirling high energy that Carol projects through the tune – this one SMOKES, volkz!
The title track alone will sate your jazz appetite (not to mention your ears) for months & years to come… “Taylor Street” was composed as a memory to Carol’s grandparents in Chicago’s Little Italy… Ben’s electric bass makes the piece literally SHIMMER with life.
Since my preference is always for laid-back (you know, “cool”) jazz, it was easy to choose “The Chill” as my personal favorite of the nine songs offered up for your jazz edification and enjoyment; beautiful sax from Bob on this one, too. I give Carol and her cohorts a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99. Get more information on Carol’s webpage for this release. Rotcod Zzaj