Three & Four
About the Artist Carol Robbins grew up in Los Angeles, where piano lessons at an early age inspired her to experiment with jazz improvisation. By age ten she was studying harp and eventually became one of the handful of students ever accepted by the late pioneering harpist Dorothy Ashby. One of the world's few jazz harpists, Ms. Robbins has recorded and performed with an eclectic variety of artists including Billy Childs, Linda Ronstadt, Teddy Edwards and Frank Sinatra. Her memorable television credits include Cheers, Frazier and The Tonight Show. Highlight appearances in 2004 included a live radio broadcast on KCRW with Australian singer Sia, a duo with Bea Arthur at the Hollywood Bowl in A Tribute to Peggy Lee, and an engagement as performer and instructor at the Lyon Healy International Harp Conference in Salt Lake City. Several of her jazz arrangements for harp have been published by Vanderbilt Editions, and her three independently-produced jazz CDs, Three and Four, Chords In Blue and Jazz Play are available on cdbaby.com. She has been nominated for a Grammy as a member of Billy Childs' Jazz Chamber Ensemble for the groups' work on 'Lyric' in the catagory of best jazz instrumental album of 2005. In 2006 she will be performing in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York with Childs and with her own group. Album Review Jazz harpist Carol Robbins performs a dozen standards and her own 'Qualcosa' as straight-ahead jazz on this 1995 CD. Joined by bassist Dave Stone, drummer Gordon Peeke, and (on eight of the 13 songs) Bob Sheppard (on tenor, soprano, and bass clarinet), Robbins adds beauty and swing to such numbers as 'Dolphin Dance,' 'I Hear a Rhapsody,' 'A Child Is Born,' 'Star Eyes,' and 'Alone Together.' She proves to be a fine bop-based player despite the fact that improvising in a bop style on the harp (not the harmonica) is particularly difficult. It seems funny to speak of a harpist 'swinging hard' considering the sound of the heavenly instrument, but Carol Robbins manages that difficult feat throughout this impressive outing, holding her own with the few greats (Adele Girard and Dorothy Ashby among them) who have played that quiet but difficult instrument in jazz. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.