1. Love for Sale
2. Falling in Love with Love
4. Lover Come Back to Me
5. I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)
6. Come Rain or Come Shine
7. Time after Time
9. Come Rain or Come Shine (alt. take)
Liane Carroll - Vocals
Brian Kellock - Piano
When I first heard Liane Carroll, I was very impressed.
She was singing with her trio, and their music was thrilling and
infectious - with Liane's brilliant piano-playing an added bonus.
Since then she has won numerous awards and this is her fifth project
with Splash Point records - an album recorded live last year at
the Blue Lamp in Aberdeen with Scottish pianist Brian Kellock.
On this website, I have praised previous albums by
both Carroll and Kellock - respectively her Slow Down and
his Five Mile Burn Sessions (the latter with Julian Arguelles).
In my review of the Kellock/Arguelles CD, I noted the benefit of
duos in which two musicians support one another with empathy - and
Carroll and Kellock certainly work well together. This is mainly
due to Brian's sympathetic accompaniments, which sedulously follow
Liane's vocals. In fact Liane sets the pace for most of the album.
My review of her previous CD underlined her dynamism and that is
clearly evident in this recording.
In fact, Liane Carroll can be rather too dynamic
- and this characteristic often leads her to go over the top at
this concert session. Despite my enthusiasm for her last CD, I identified
a couple of qualities which could be dangerous: Liane's tendencies
to shout and to garble song lyrics. My previous review said that
"Her singing is so powerful that she sometimes reminds me of
a schoolteacher shouting at an unruly group of pupils across a playground".
This tendency is acceptable in small doses but Liane has allowed
it to turn into a raucously hectoring style which can be overpowering.
It seems as if she is trying to foster the image of a powerfully
feisty and adventurous singer but the results can feel mannered
and over-theatrical - as well as very noisy. One is tempted to borrow
the words of a TV commercial: "Calm down, dear!"
In the process of straining for effect, Liane also
mangles the lyrics. If you don't already know the words of these
songs, you might be hard-pressed to make them out from this recording.
Lover Come Back to Me is performed as if it was a Gilbert
& Sullivan patter song, with the lyrics frequently gabbled incomprehensibly.
Rodgers & Hart's Falling in Love with Love suffers particularly
badly, with scat introduced instead of some words and several lines
mutilated (the line "Caring too much is such a juvenile fancy"
turns into "Caring too much is such a beautiful fancy").
I know that jazz singers can take liberties, but this just looks
like carelessness. Despite the frantic tempo, Brian Kellock manages
to play a scintillating solo.
There are some quiet moments in such songs as Alfie,
although Liane's intonation sometimes falters on slower numbers
like these when she tries to over-dramatise. And in I Got It
Bad, her continual swerving around the melody contrasts badly
with Kellock's tasteful upper-keyboard decorations.
Liane Carroll's MySpace profile says that she "sounds
like a wailing banshee for a certain time once a month". This
album suggests that it happens more often than once a month.