Liane Carroll, jazz review: 'Pure yet raw'
Ronnie Scott’s, London
Nick Hasted has been a film journalist since 1986. He writes about film, music, books and comics for The Independent, Sight & Sound, Uncut and Little White Lies. He has published two books: The Dark Story of Eminem (2002), and You Really Got Me: The Story of The Kinks (2011), both from Omnibus Press.
Monday 30 December 2013
Liane Carroll’s latest album, Ballads, proves the still frustratingly little-known 49-year-old is one of Britain’s most emotionally visceral and accomplished singers.
Live she’s a perfect post-Christmas mix of earned sentiment and bawdy entertainer, with a jazz repertoire she stretches from Nina Simone to Donald Fagen. The expert wisecracks she tosses from her seat at the piano help the songs’ sometimes broken words slip down.
Carroll’s a pure yet raw musician, her scat-singing harmonically entwining with the quartet she also leads as an eccentric, virtuoso pianist. A generally upbeat first half ends with her quieting the festive crowd with songs by an old Ronnie’s regular, Nina Simone.
She stretches “Wild is the Wind’s" words out softly and evenly in pockets of silence. Her voice is slightly rougher when she returns, a bit swamped on “A Fairytale of New York”’s raucous choruses. But she catches all its drunk-tank narrator’s barely expressible sadness.
And, solo at the piano on Tom Waits’s “Take It With Me” – key, yearning line: “I’m gonna take it with me when I go” – she mines the words’ deepest, fullest meaning. Amidst the festive tinsel, it’s a simply profound, tearful moment.
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils