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  “Deeply soulful, wonderfully honest” The Times
  "Highly Recommended--I love it" Michael Parkinson
  "The real thing." Sholto Byrnes, Independent on Sunday
  "Utterly brilliant." Time Out

May 2009

Liane Carroll & Brian Kellock: Live at the Lampie * * * *

There was never a scintilla of doubt that a meeting between Liane Carroll and Brian Kellock would produce something a little out of the ordinary, but the breathtaking scope of the duo's music-making on Live At The Lampie is jaw-dropping. You enter a world of magisterial improv, heartworn balladry, transfixing solos and moments of utter exhilaration. Singer and pianist met two years ago at one of Fionna Duncan's Vocal Jazz Workshops in Scotland (Carroll was teaching, Kellock playing). The album was recorded during a brief tour of Scotland in November 2008, which prompted lhe Herald to enthuse that Carroll/Kellock "may well be British jazz's greatest double act".

At times the duo act like naughty schoolchildren, goading each other on to ever greater virtuosic feats. ln album opener'Love For Sale', 'Lover Come Back To Me' and elsewhere, Kellock unleashes acts of prestidigitation of an almost player piano-like complexity. From a barnstorming interpretation of 'Falling ln Love With Love' to the sustained tour de force of 'Alfie', Carroll spins endlessly inventive melodic lines in a vocal performance which, purely in terms of visceral excitement and fearless soloing, is unprecedented in her output. The album launch this month at the Pizza Express Jazz Club promises to be a belter.

Peter Quinn


The Observer
Sunday 10 May 2009

Liane Carroll & Brian Kellock: Live at the Lampie

Some musicians are talented, some brilliant and a few just seem to be made out of music. Liane Carroll is one of these. Every phrase she sings sounds unstudied, fresh and somehow inevitable. It's best to experience her in person, but this live set comes close. There's none of her equally amazing piano playing here, but it's hard to think of a better matched keyboard companion than Brian Kellock, Scotland 's finest jazz pianist and probably one of the best anywhere. The recording is basic and rather dry, but it catches the interplay between them very well.

Dave Gelly


The Guardian
Friday December 7, 2007

Slow Down ****

American bandleader Charles Tolliver's recent London jazz festival gig inevitably overshadowed the first-half performance by Scottish pianist Brian Kellock and his guest Liane Carroll. But Carroll's three vocals on that set packed in an instrument-like agility (she's a pianist herself), a soul diva's power, and the delicate intelligence she's now applying to a changed repertoire of pensive but penetrating mood-music. Carroll delivers 14 songs here, mostly by an A-team including Tom Waits, Hoagy Carmichael, Laura Nyro, Duke Ellington, and even Donovan - on a haunting version of Catch the Wind humming with a strength the original never had. She softens the Tom Waits rasp on the composer's Take It With Me, but keeps the rough nostalgia, brings a rare intensity to All the Way, and lights a fire under If I Loved You with the minimum of kindling - only very sparing delivery of the lyrics alongside guest Ian Shaw's minimal piano. Slowdown is this world-class singer's world-class record, and the expression doing more with less might have been written for it.

John Fordham


October 13 2007


In the perfect piano bar, you would have Leffe beer at £1.50 a pint, a decent selection of free nuts and behind the joanna the great Liane Carroll. Because she could never be mistaken for slinky Jane Monheit, Carroll has not been swept up in the “jazz babe” boom of recent years. But her deeply soulful, wonderfully honest style of singing has a loyal following.

This album of 14 ballads, ranging from Duke Ellington and Laura Nyro to Tom Waits and Donovan, was recorded in four hours (with a break every three songs for a glass of wine and a cigarette). Highlights include a lyrical take on Catch the Wind, some fine scatting on Memphis in June, and a relaxed swing through All of Me. Same again all round, please.

John Bungey




Liane Carroll - Slow Down ****

There can’t be many more pleasurable ways of spending an hour than in the company of Slow Down, Liane Carroll’s latest collection of 14 hand-picked ballads. Including material recalled from her childhood and teenage years, the singer’s most personal recording to date features one spine-tingling song after another.

From the insistent falling fifth which launches the gorgeous opener ‘Memphis in June’ to the moving tableaux of the Tom Waits-penned closer, ‘Take It With Me’, the singer delivers the set with an unswerving honesty and molten intensity. Whether burningly expressive in ‘All The Way’, playfully lyrical in Donovan’s ‘Catch The Wind’ or heartbreakingly sincere in the emotional tour de force of ‘If I loved You’ (featuring her great friend Ian Shaw in the piano chair), Carroll has you hanging on her every note.

The singer’s inventive approach to standards is evidenced by the kaleidoscopic textures and varied moods of ‘Willow Weep For Me’ – slowly chiming chords one moment, a sinuous groove the next. One of the singularly most powerful records I’ve heard all year. This, you feel, is the album that Carroll has been waiting to record her whole life.

Peter Quinn


September 30 2007

So, you like Amy Winehouse, but want something jazzier? Liane Carroll fits the bill perfectly. A charmingly no-nonsense singer-pianist who keeps a supply of beer and cigs close at hand during her sets, she has a mid-Atlantic vocal that combines swing virtuosity with the raw spirit of old-school R&B. This pensive, ballad-driven recording is her best yet, with heart-on-sleeve renditions of Laura Nyro’s Lazy Susan and standards as familiar as Ellington’s In My Solitude. The knockout punch is an aching treatment of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s If I Loved You, with a guest, Ian Shaw, sitting in on piano.

Clive Davis


Standard Issue

Liane Carroll's vocals and keyboard work give this studio
recording all the zest of her live performances. Only one
original, Three Sheets to the Wind, appears among a dozen
ec1ectic gems by her favourite songwriters, ranging from
Harold Arlen (That Old Black Magic) to The Beatles
(Eleanor Rigby), and Charles Trenet (I Wish You Love).
Tenorist Bobby Wellins and guitarist John Parricelli
join bassist Roger Carey and drummer Greg Leppard for
Jobim's Insensatez, and Ian Shaw adds his vocals to Carole
King's You've Got a Friend, but no further window dressing
is needed

Jack Massari


9 October 2005
**** Standard Issue

Few do rollicking, bluesy piano as well as Liane Carroll, who was finally recognised at this year's BBC Jazz Awards, carrying off the Best Vocalist and Best of Jazz gongs. She really occupies a place on the intersection of jazz and pop, which is why reworkings of such different songs as "Eleanor Rigby" and "That Old Black Magic" both sound eminently radio-friendly when topped by her distinctive, smokily louche voice. Carroll is a great performer, guaranteeing a good time when uptempo as well as being beautifully affecting on slower numbers like Laura Nyro's "He's A Runner". The real thing

Sholto Byrne

  Liane Carroll
Standard Issue
SPROO3CD * * * *

The recipient of not one but two gongs at the 2005 BBC Jazz Awards - proving beyond any doubt that not only is there a God, he's also something of a jazz fan - expectations for this release couldn't possibly be any higher. Well, if you're only going to buy one vocal jazz album this year, make sure this is it. Recorded in a single day at London's legendary Abbey Road Studios, this is the kind of disc that will have jaded reviewers nationwide blubbing over their laptops with gratitude. There are laughs, tears, adroit shifts between wistful reflection and joyous energy - and that's just the album opener. Including brilliant, imaginative reworkings of standards (They Can't Take That Away From Me'), a barnstorming centrepiece in the form of back-to-back Laura Nyro tunes ('California Sunshine Boys', 'He's A Runner'), 'Eleanor Rigby' like you're hearing it for the first time and the bittersweet 'I Wish You Love' to wrap things up, Carroll has never been caught in finer voice. While some vocalists can seem way too tentative on the mic, not getting too close for fear of getting a rash, Carroll gives it to you with both barrels. It's invidious to single out a particular track, for praise, but her arrangement of Janis Ian's 'At Seventeen' is close to musical perfection

Peter Quinn

Liane Carroll
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