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Album Review

This is a reissue of an early LP that devoted a side apiece to these two talented pianists in a trio setting. Most of Barbara Carroll's recordings from this era are long out of print, and she was recorded rather sporadically until a flurry of activity in the early '90s, so it's a treat to hear her swinging renditions of gems like "Taking a Chance on Love" and "The Lady's in Love With You," with the added bonus of a previously unissued track, "They Can't Take That Away From Me." Mary Lou Williams' set is more adventurous, featuring an adaptation of Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci," and classic show tunes like "The Surrey With the Fringe on Top" and "'S Wonderful." But it's her potent originals that steal the show — the bluesy "In the Purple Grotto" and "Opus Z," a composition co-written with the unjustly neglected Herbie Nichols.

Biography

Born: 25 January 1925 in Worcester, MA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

In the year 2005, Barbara Carroll could boast that she has began playing piano for a grand total of 75 years. Not without a pause to sleep and eat, obviously, but with a determination that might suggest such extremes. Born Barbara Carole Coppersmith, she began the instrument at only five-years-old and went on to classical training three years later, eventually graduating from the New England Conservatory. In terms of professional stagecraft, her initial training ground was a USO tour during the second...
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Ladies of Jazz, Barbara Carroll
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