CONNIE CROTHERS, PIANIST
As performer and recording artist, Connie releases her deepest feeling—her source—into the music, creating a wide range of expression and a virtuosity which is based on her desire to discover everything she can hear and imagine through spontaneous improvisation.
This year, She performed solo in Kassel, Germany, at Staats Theater. The reviewer Von Georg Pepl, under the headline “Fantastic Adventure,” called it “a magnificent solo concert.”
She performed at the Vision Festival with dancers Elaine Gutierrez and Elaine Cray, MoralesDance, at Judson Memorial Church, NYC
During the year, Connie’s performances featured a number of musicians in a variety of contexts. She performed duos—with Warren Smith, percussionist, at Zurcher Gallery, NYC and also at Clemente Solo Velez, NYC, presented by Arts for Art Evolving Series; Joe McPhee, tenor saxophone, at Zurcher Gallery NYC; bassist Ken Filiano at Soup and Sound, Brooklyn; electronic composer and improviser Tom Hamilton at The Old Stone House, Brooklyn, presented by Dan Joseph’s Musical Ecologies; Paula Hackett, poet, Scholes Street Studio, Brooklyn; Ryan Messina, trumpet, Scholes Street Studio. Her trio performances included TranceFormation—Andrea Wolper, voice, Ken Filiano, bass at the Will Connell Memorial Concert, St. Peter’s Church, NYC; Kevin Norton, vibes and percussion, and Guillermo Gregorio at iBeam, Brooklyn; Michael Bisio, bass and Michael T.A. Thompson, drums, at Clemente Solo Velez, Arts for Art, NYC; Adam Lane, Michael Wimberley, Scholes Street Studio; Pete Swanson, bass and Michael Wimberley, drums at Scholes Street Studio. Quartet appearances include Adam Caine Quartet, with Adam Caine on guitar, Ken Filiano on bass, Federico Ughi on drums, Firehouse Performance Space, Brooklyn; Jeff Pearring Quartet at Lang Hall, Hunter College, NYC, with Jeff Pearring on alto saxophone, Ken Filiano on bass and Carlo Costa on drums, also at Scholes Street Studio.
In 2014, Connie was selected for a week residency at The Stone, from August 19 to 24, 2014. She performed twelve sets, each set with a different lineup of musicians. The duet set with Pauline Oliveros was chosen for the critics pick in the music section in Time Out magazine. This residency was a CD release celebration for “Concert in Paris,” a CD of selections from a solo concert performed in Paris in 2011, New Artists label. This CD was selected by Ken Weiss for his best of 2014 list in Cadence and by Gregory Applegate Edwards for “best jazz album of the year” (a tie). Earlier in this year, her quartet, with Richard Tabnik on alto saxophone, Ken Filiano on bass, Roger Mancuso on drums, released “Deep Friendship,” New Artists, from a concert at William Paterson University. The quartet celebrated the CD release in a performance at Roulette in Brooklyn. This CD received a four-star review in DownBeat and was included by DownBeat in their selection of best recordings of the year. She appeared in the Vision Festival in June with Times Three, a trio with Henry Grimes on bass and violin and Melvin Gibbs on electric bass. In this festival, she also performed in a set with the dancer Patricia Parker. She appeared at The Firehouse Performance Space, Brooklyn, in a quintet led by bassist Adam Lane which featured two pianos, the other pianist being Virg Dzurinko. She performed duo with bassist Ken Filiano at JACK, Brooklyn. She toured California with Jessica Jones, tenor saxophone, celebrating their 2013 CD release, “Live at the Freight.” This CD was chosen for best of the year lists by Ken Weiss and Duck Baker.
In 2013, the Relative Pitch label produced a duet CD with alto saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc, “Two.” She performed at the Vision Festival with poet Steve Dalachinsky. With the Northwoods Improvisers, she performed at the Edge Festival. She performed solo at Roulette. In 2012, the French label RogueArt released a four-CD box set, a duo with pianist David Arner, “Spontaneous Suites for Two Pianos.” Ken Weiss, Alain Drouot and Pat Frisco chose it for their best of 2012 lists. A trio, TranceFormation, with Ken Filiano and singer Andrea Wolper, released the CD, “TranceFormation in Concert,” New Artists. She recorded duo with singer Alexis Parsons, “Hippin’,” and duo with poet Paula Hackett, “Sharing the Thrill,” both released on New Artists. Four CDs were released in 2011. “Live at the Stone, NYC’’ features her quartet, performing with poet Mark Weber. Another band release is “Band of Fire,” the quartet plus Roy Campbell on trumpet. “The Stone Set,” is a duet performance with clarinetist Bill Payne. “Kingston Tone Roads,” features a duet with Kevin Norton on vibes and percussion, with Tabnik on one track, New Vanguard label. Connie’s quartet appeared in the 2011 Vision Festival. Writing in Jazz Inside, Ken Weiss described this set as “the highlight of the Festival.”
Max Roach and Connie recorded duo in 1982, as part of Roach’s historic duets project–“Swish,” New Artists. This recording got two four-star reviews in DownBeat. They performed duo at the Brooklyn Academy of Music with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, in Tokyo, and at Harvard University, where she was honored as Visiting Jazz Artist. She co-led an engagement at The Vanguard with tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh, featuring bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Pete Scatarettico. Marsh performed with her in Carnegie Recital Hall with Mancuso and bassist Joe Solomon. Connie’s quartet, co-led with tenor saxophonist Lenny Popkin, featured bassist Cameron Brown and drummer Carol Tristano. Their recording, “Love Energy,” was voted #1 of the year in Wire Magazine by Jack Cooke.
As a solo performer, she appeared in the Berlin Jazztage, Jazz at Middleheim when she received a feature article in Knack, the Toronto International Jazz Festival, and at Carnegie Recital Hall, presented by Lennie Tristano. Tristano wrote on her first record, “Perception,” SteepleChase, “Connie Crothers is the most original musician it has ever been my privilege to work with.”
photo by Rob Clark