Liane Carroll At Abbey Rd: 5/6/05.
Liane Carroll is without doubt one of the most extraordinary musicians working on
the UK jazz circuit (or any other circuit for that matter!). She was most
recently acknowledged by the BBC in their annual Jazz Awards, as well as
being the only artist ever to win in two categories in a single year ("Best
Vocalist" & "Best of Jazz"). A recognition that many would say was long overdue.
Not content to be labeled a jazz musician, Liane sings, writes and performs
with Drum & Bass heavyweights London Elektricty with whom she tours continually
all around the globe. Liane has recently recorded her second album on Splash Point Records,
which was recorded in a single session at the Famous Abbey Rd Studios, Studio 1.
Her passion, unrestrained delivery, and unparallel musicianship makes a Liane
Carroll show one of the most compelling and heart rending you are ever likely
to see. Liane kindly took time out from her hectic schedule to say a few words.
With winning a brace of BBC jazz awards you must be quite excited about
getting the new album out. Can you tell us a bit about the recording?
LC: Yes, I was very excited to win both the awards and quite shocked.
The making of "Standard Issue" in the middle of it all was an invigorating
and also calming experience as there was so much going on. It was a real
treat recording in Studio One at "Abbey Road" and I was happy with the
material that I had chosen. People have been saying over the years, "why
don't you record that song you just did?" etc and I thought lets do that
with this cd, and its full of many of my favorite songs and what I consider
to be timeless classics and standards, hence the title.
Who is playing on the record?
LC: I have been so lucky to work with many amazing musicians throughout my life
and this album is no exception. I have Roger Carey on bass guitar who is just
wild and has such a distinctive sound and way of playing, and his two solos,
one on "Old Black Magic", and one on "Cant Take That Away" are complete testament
to that. On drums is the wonderful Greg Leppard, who I started working with 11
years ago in Hamburg. Yet another wild creature! Him and roger have grown
together so well as a major rhythm section, Greg is one of the most musical
yet funky drummers I have ever played with and is completely fearless which
makes for an intense sound, which is how I play and sing, so I couldn't be
I have some guests on the cd also. John Parricelli and
Bobby Wellins join me
on the fantastic "How Insensitive" and the best male jazz singer that I have
ever known, Ian Shaw, sings with me on "You've Got a Friend". I have been
privileged to work with Ian since 1994 and there is NOBODY better. So you
can imagine what a wonderful day we had! The cd is being launched on sept
18th and is on Splash Point Records, which is the same company that I recorded
my solo cd "Billy no mates" with, so there's a nice flow there as well.
Liane with Ian Shaw: 5/6/05.
You having been playing the longest residency in the history of modern music
at your regular Wednesday night at Porters in Hastings. That gig must be quite important to you?
LC: Yes! Porters wine bar in the high street Hastings is one of the catalysts of my performing.
I started working there in 1988 or 89, not sure, but touring commitments aside, am always there
on a Wednesday night. It has such an amazing atmosphere; there aren't many places like it. Good
food, and wine, fantastic friendly staff, and the best place to come and see me play and sing
on an old piano whilst juggling 2 bottles of Pinot!!. It's my favorite gig and I won't stop
until they sack me. Uli, the owner is German, and I enjoy winding him up when it is time for
me to start the second set as he always starts looking at his watch, and I wait for that
You also play with Drum & Bass outfit "London Elektricity". What has been going on with them?
LC: London Elektricity is a completely live drum and bass band and one of the
most exciting bands I have ever played with. It is run by Tony Colman who also
dj's as London Elektricity and is on Hospital Records, which is run by Tony,
and his partner, Chris Goss. Where do I start? I started working with Tony 9
years ago (through Greg, who used to be in an earlier band called "izzit")
and have not looked back. The live band was formed 3 or 4 years ago and in
that time, we have traveled to New Zealand, brazil, and all over western and
eastern Europe. We won "Best live act" at the Knowledge Magazine awards which
was shown on MTV, and have done numerous broadcasts for BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra.
Again, the personnel in the band are awesome. Tony and landslide play wonderful
samples and percussion. we have Andy Waterworth on double bass, I play Wurlitzer
keyboard and sing, mostly jumping around at the front doing mum dancing (think
of a female David Brent!) there's the wonderful MC Wrec who can bring any
audience in the world to a frenzy, and lastly "the jungle drummer" who is
something else. He's only 27 and there is not another drummer out there
like him. He really is a force to be reckoned with, and playing live drum
and bass (and countless other styles such as hip hop etc) with such
amazing energy and accuracy and emotion. There is a big buzz going round
the whole music scene about him, and about this band. The last cd,
"Billion dollar gravy" did really well and we have a new one out
in October called "Power ballads".
Liane on the Fender: 5/6/05.
What has been your most exciting gig?
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LC: Most exciting gig? Well, I think that would have to be Glastonbury,
this year with London Elektricity. I don't know if you heard but the
weather was torrential and we arrived in a river, watching tents float
by us as we prepared to play, but the whole event and the audiences
wouldn't let a thing like that get in the way and so we had a mega
gig and there was so much love around. Yes, I think that was my favorite
gig so far, although playing at Ronnie's is always a buzz as is many places,
countries venues. I really am lucky.
How do you feel about music right now? Is there anything new that you
have heard that is turning you on right now?
LC:I think there is an exciting underground thing going on at the moment,
and that turns me on more than the stuff that the big labels are putting
out right now. Although I have always said that there is room for all of
it and as long as the music is heartfelt and honest then, play on.
If you had to name you top five favourite records of all time, they would be忍
I find it really hard to pick just 5 favorite records as there are so many out
there that I love, and sometimes it might just be one track on a cd, but I love
anything by; tom waits, Laura Nyro, I also love Prince and think he is an
astonishing producer as well as musician. Too many to mention honestly, but
Todd Rundgren is also up there. I think that anyone who is involved in music
or just loves music should get out there and hear as many different types as
possible cos there's tons of it waiting to be enjoyed.
What have you got coming up in the future?
LC: The future is looking very exciting. I am doing a lot of writing at the mo
and also many jazz gigs and gigs with London Elektricity, and also solo gigs,
(did I mention Porters?). I've had such a wonderful ride so far that I feel
quite greedy and want to carry on. Its a wonderful thing to do, and I have
made and am making so many lovely friends that I just don't want to stop.
So, all that I can finish with is, "hold me back!!!"
Liane can be seen regularly at London's Ronnie Scott's and the 606 club in
downtown Chelsea. For me, Liane is one of the most inspired performers I
have ever seen. Her jaw dropping capabilities combined with unbridled
passion and honesty make each gig an individual event. It is almost an
education. This is how it should be done. This my friends, is the real deal!!