She attended the New England Conservatory of Music for a year, but left it as it conflicted with working for bands.
She began her classical training in piano at age eight, but by high school decided to become a jazz pianist. In 1947 Leonard Feather dubbed her "the first girl ever to play bebop piano." 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.
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.
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.
Board member Duke Ellington Memorial Fund. Member American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Songwriter's Guild, Friars Club.
Married Joseph Shulman, September 20, 1954 (deceased August 2, 1957). Married Bertram Joseph Block, October 7, 1960 (deceased July 9, 1986). 1 child, Suzanne Elizabeth.