Liz Carroll

Lake Effect

Chicago’s Liz Carroll belongs to a preeminent group of Irish-American fiddlers that includes Martin Hayes, Kevin Burke and Dale Russ. As a composer she stands alone, working musical wonders within the tradition while eschewing fusion jazz or world music. For 12 years she kept a low profile, but with Lost in the Loop (2000) and now this, it’s clear that her dazzling technique is matched only by her composing skills. Amid the 25 new tunes are variations from standard AA/BB structure in jigs and reels and enough twisty melodic innovations to thrill the fingers of any fiddler. One standout, “Catherine Kelly’s/Lake Effect,” incorporates a string quartet arrangement (Turtle Island guests) with a slip jig and tune. Carroll uses strong accompanists—former Solas guitarist John Doyle and Liz Knowles on fiddle and viola, quite effective on the “The Gypsy/The Hatchlings/The Long Bow.” Transcendent.