CAROL ROBBINS, MORAGA

I have always been impressed with the way jazz harpist Carol Robbins pairs her instrumental sound with a traditional rhythm section. Her harp is warm and effervescent; she plays it like “one of the guys” yet there’s something very comforting about the crystalline sound of her strings and the way Robbins applies it to her music. The first-class support on her fourth solo recording, "Moraga" (Jazz Cat Records), includes the terrific pianist Billy Childs, bassist Darek Oles, drummer Gary Novak along with saxophonist Gary Meek and guitarist Larry Koonse whose addition creates a unique instrumental blend with the harp. "Moraga" is centered more heavily around Robbins’s own tunes, save for a lush and lovely version of Cole Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” Her writing and arrangements here are among her best to date. There’s a gutsy intensity on “Sand Rover” and the up-tempo “Straight Away,” two bold tunes that create one-of-a-kind sonics. “Three Rivers” is as gorgeous and durable as a Pat Metheny ballad and captures the inherent fluidity of the harp, while its beauty is amplified by the quality of Robbins’s writing. "Moraga" is essential listening that illustrates why Robbins deserves major props for her astonishingly beautiful musicianship and her durable, original compositions. All of her music is available at www.cdbaby.com/cd/carolrobbins2 and www.carolrobbins.net (9 tracks; 55:06 minutes)

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JAZZ IN SPACE: CAROL ROBBINS, MORAGA

Saturday, June 30, 2012

CAROL ROBBINS, MORAGA

I have always been impressed with the way jazz harpist Carol Robbins pairs her instrumental sound with a traditional rhythm section. Her harp is warm and effervescent; she plays it like “one of the guys” yet there’s something very comforting about the crystalline sound of her strings and the way Robbins applies it to her music. The first-class support on her fourth solo recording, "Moraga" (Jazz Cat Records), includes the terrific pianist Billy Childs, bassist Darek Oles, drummer Gary Novak along with saxophonist Gary Meek and guitarist Larry Koonse whose addition creates a unique instrumental blend with the harp. "Moraga" is centered more heavily around Robbins’s own tunes, save for a lush and lovely version of Cole Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” Her writing and arrangements here are among her best to date. There’s a gutsy intensity on “Sand Rover” and the up-tempo “Straight Away,” two bold tunes that create one-of-a-kind sonics. “Three Rivers” is as gorgeous and durable as a Pat Metheny ballad and captures the inherent fluidity of the harp, while its beauty is amplified by the quality of Robbins’s writing. "Moraga" is essential listening that illustrates why Robbins deserves major props for her astonishingly beautiful musicianship and her durable, original compositions. All of her music is available at www.cdbaby.com/cd/carolrobbins2 and www.carolrobbins.net (9 tracks; 55:06 minutes)

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