Barbara Carroll

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Barbara Carroll
Clyde Lombardi, Barbara Carroll, Chuck Wayne. Downbeat, NYC, ca Sept 1947 Gottlieb.jpg
Carroll with Clyde Lombardi (left) and Chuck Wayne, 1947
Background information
Birth nameBarbara Carole Coppersmith
Born(1925-01-25)January 25, 1925
Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedFebruary 12, 2017(2017-02-12) (aged 92)
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
InstrumentsPiano, vocals
Years active1947–2016

Barbara Carroll (born Barbara Carole Coppersmith; January 25, 1925 – February 12, 2017) was an American jazz pianist and vocalist.

Early life and career[edit]

Carroll was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. She began her classical training in piano at age eight, but by high school decided to become a jazz pianist. She attended the New England Conservatory of Music for a year, but left it as it conflicted with working for bands. In 1947 Leonard Feather dubbed her "the first girl ever to play bebop piano."[1] In the following year her trio, which featured Chuck Wayne on guitar and Clyde Lombardi on bass, worked briefly with Benny Goodman. Later Charlie Byrd replaced Wayne and Joe Shulman replaced Lombardi.[2] After Byrd's departure, Carroll decided to have it be a drums, bass, and piano trio.

In the 1950s Carroll and her trio worked on Me and Juliet by Rodgers and Hammerstein. The decade saw her career ebb due to changing musical tastes and personal concerns.

Later career[edit]

In 1972 she revived her career due to a renewed interest in her work. In 1975 she was asked by Rita Coolidge to work on a session for A&M. In 1978 she toured with Coolidge and Kris Kristofferson. In the following two decades she became known as a cabaret performer.

Personal life[edit]

In September 1954, Carroll married jazz bassist Joe Shulman, a member of the trio. He died from a heart attack in 1957 at age 33. She subsequently married agent and photographer Bert Block, with whom she had a daughter, Suzanne. Block died of emphysema in 1986.[2] In 2011, Carroll married advertising executive Mark Stroock, a union that lasted until her death at 92.[3][1]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 2003, Carroll was awarded the Kennedy Center's Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Lifetime Achievement Award.[4]


Carroll in New York, 2007
Year recorded Title Label Notes
1951? Piano Panorama Atlantic 10" LP; reissued 1958 as Ladies of Jazz, Atlantic with Mary Lou Williams 10"
1954? Barbara Carroll Trio RCA Victor Trio, with Joe Shulman (bass), Herb Wasserman (drums)
1955? Lullabies in Rhythm RCA Victor
1956? Have You Met Miss Carroll RCA Victor Trio, with Joe Shulman (bass), Ralph Pollack (drums)
1956 We Couldn't Just Say Goodbye RCA Victor Trio, with Joe Shulman (bass), Joe Petti (drums)
1957? It's a Wonderful World RCA Victor
1957? Funny Face Verve Also known as The Best of George and Ira Gershwin
1958? Barbara Verve
1958? Flower Drum Somg Kapp
1959? Why Not? SESAC
1964? Hello, Dolly Warner Bros.
1964? What Makes Sammy Run? Warner Bros.
1981? At the Piano Trend/Discovery
1991? Live at the Carlyle DRG With Claudio Roditi (trumpet), Jay Leonhart (bass), Akira Tana (drums)
1993? This Heart of Mine DRG With Jerome Richardson (tenor sax, alto sax), Art Farmer (trumpet), Jay Leonhart and Frank Tate (bass; separately), Joe Cocuzzo (drums)
1995? Everything I Love DRG
2003? Live at Birdland Harbinger
2006 I Wished On the Moon Venus Trio, with Jay Leonhart (bass), Joe Coccuzzo (drums)
2008 Something to Live For Harbinger Quartet, with Ken Peplowski (tenor sax, clarinet), Jay Leonhart (bass), Alvin Atkinson (drums);in concert
2010 How Long Has This Been Going On? Harbinger Quartet, with Ken Peplowski and others; in concert
2016? Barbara Carroll Plays at Birdland Birdland With Jay Leonhart (bass); in concert

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Holden, Stephen (February 14, 2017). "Barbara Carroll, Pioneering Jazz Pianist and Singer, Dies at 92". The New York Times. p. A21.
  2. ^ a b Gans, Andrew (February 13, 2017). "Barbara Carroll, Jazz Pianist, Is Dead at 92". Playbill. ISSN 0551-0678.
  3. ^ "Jazz Pianist, Composer, and Vocalist Barbara Carroll Passes Away Age 92". Broadway World. February 12, 2017.
  4. ^ "Jazz Pianist and Singer Barbara Carroll". NPR. June 9, 2003.

External links[edit]