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Barbara Carroll: Live at Birdland

Like the majority of female instrumentalists, Barbara Carr-oll remains the jazz equivalent of Rodney Dangerfield-un-able to get adequate respect. She’s guided a stunning six-decade career as a pianist (and sometime vocalist) so imaginatively skillful that she can shift from art house neoclassical to barroom stride with the subtlest twist of an elegant wrist; yet, Carroll remains barely recognized beyond those who know her from her 24-year run in the Carlyle’s Bemelman’s Bar (and even there she had to play second fiddle to Bobby Short, who held court in the hotel’s plusher Cafe Carlyle). Apart from pricey Japanese reissues of her exquisite mid-’50s work for RCA and a handful of recent releases, far too few of her more than three-dozen albums have seen the light of day on CD.

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