Liane with Roger Carey in the background.
Liane Carroll At Abbey Rd: 5/6/05.

Liane Carroll

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 happier.
Liane with Ian Shaw preparing for You've got a friend
Liane with Ian Shaw: 5/6/05.
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.

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 precious moment!

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 Carroll)
Liane on the Fender: 5/6/05.
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What has been your most exciting gig?

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

LC: 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!!
Liane Carroll trio recording at Abbey Rd Studio 1 David Hentschell at the controls Liane and Neal get it on in the control room! Liane at the Steinway Greg Leppard on drums
All pictures property of Splash Point Records. Photography by Lynn Hitton.

Links : Liane's website. : Liane's top record label! : Liane's drum and bass alterego London Elektrcity!

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