bio discography  


“Connie Crothers scored the festival’s lone solo gig, mixing in a noble grace, oblique angles and uncompromising ferocity into her piano work. Her use of space, sensitivity and bursts of energy filled with felicitous detail was astounding. It’s difficult to say if the most memorable element of her glorious set was the virtuosity with which she played or the taken aback joy with which she radiated while soaking up her well-earned rousing applause.”
Ken Weiss. Jazz Improv/New York, December 2008
Review, solo set, Vision Festival, 2008

“Crothers is a stunning pianist.”

Stuart Broomer, Signal to Noise

“...a lioness on the keyboard.”

Jean Quist, Jazz Nu

"Crothers's status (is) one of the most accomplished in/out improvisers."

Chris Kelly,

". . .a powerful two-handed style, percussive and explorative. Her sudden descent to a crystal-toned delicacy permits the lyrical aspects to blossom with awe-inspiring beauty. . .a study in mood shifts, ranging from deep foreboding to a spirited explosion of joy.”

John Sutherland, Coda

“The music of Connie Crothers, giving a musical coherence that transcends the distinction between personal compositions and standards, causes the listener to experience a captivating joy.”

Patrick Williams, Jazz Magazine (France)

“(Her music), played with intensity and an obvious outpouring of emotion, results in substantive music with power framed in a veil of tenderness.”

Frank Rubolino, One Final Note

“Connie Crothers has forged a truly individual path in music.”

Francis Lo Kee,

“Her work continues to demonstrate the singularity of her voice. She’s one of those pianists whom you can recognize in a few phrases, and she’s always got something to say.”

Michael Coyle, Cadence

“Connie’s (playing) has a certain elegance and sophistication that puts her in a class by itself; she sounds like no one else but herself. (She) is one of the most gifted pianists around.”

Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter

“About the only predictable elements in the work of pianist/composer Crothers are honesty and originality.”

Lois Moody, Jazz News

“Connie Crothers is the most original musician it has ever been my privilege to work with.”

Lennie Tristano, liner notes for Perception, SteepleChase Records


about the solo set at the Vision Festival, 2008:

“...thrillingly expressionistic.”

John Sharpe,


“With Music is a Place pianist Connie Crothers has created an enduring work... Tabnik is a highly original soloist, his style ranging from calm geometric precision to violent meterological storms... Tabnik and Crothers’ unison melodies are uncanny, thighly integrated yet creating the illusion of free improv.”

Tom Greenland, All About Jazz: New York

“The music of the Connie Crothers Quartet manages to balance traditional patterns and free improvisation in a way that is mysterious, magical and brilliant... Richard Tabnik is one of the most original (if not the most original) alto saxophonists of the mainstream contemporary scene.”

Cosimo Parisi, Music Boom (Italian internet magazine)

“This is a great example of truly free music... Both Ratzo Harris and Roger Mancuso play the role of supporting rhythm section players well, but they go way beyond that, turning in solos that have the dynamics, form and tonal ingenuity of little 21st century symphonies.”

Francis Lo Kee,

(Richard Tabnik’s music is) “... shot through with veins of startling heat... The tunes bounce between ideations with the velocity of banked pinballs... ’New York City in the Blue Hour’ is riddled with such switchbacks and hairpin harmonic curves. The result is music that appears to exhibit Gordian complexity while still retaining an inherent lyricism and accessibility.”

Derek Taylor, Cadence

“This is a band that has been honed in the finest details, running on intuition without ever losing the thread through the most impassioned improvisations. They embody a true group identity with a precise and unmistakeable sound, yet each one of them is a strongly individual musician...Perfect solos within the flow imposed by the group--brilliant and always in tune with the requirements of collective improvisation... (The quartet) has succeeded in combining harmonic and rhythmic complexity with fluid execution, overwhelming solos and piano/sax lines that have yet to be comprehended (and which will certainly eventually form a new school in music).”

Cosimo Parisi, Music Boom (Italian internet magazine)

“Another thing that makes this quartet so special is the way they all flow together, they have the dreamlike feel that reminds me of Miles’ rhythm team for the mid-sixties...Connie and Richard take explosive solos.”

Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter

“This is complex music, as expressed both in the flawlessly executed heads and in the improvisation, but the complexity is employed purely in service of creating a fertile creative environment. Cross-rhythms, block chording, counterpoint, and extemporaneous ensemble arrangements are so central to the improvised developments that the energy and feeling expressed on spontaneous pieces are nearly identical to those found in the tune-based improvisation on other tracks.”

James Ilginfritz, ISIM Newsletter

“All four musicians are first rate improvisers.”

Derek Ansell, Jazz Journal International (UK)


“There’s not a wasted note on these tightly constructed, pithy duets. The precision with which (Crothers and Payne) fit together is uncanny at times. This is very passionate music, a product of intense concentration and discipline as well as emotional openness and depth.”

Ed Hazell,

"...intense one-on-one engagement. Their interplay is indeed conversational, albeit highly animated. . Crothers's status as one of the most accomplished in/out improvisers is only enhanced by this release. Payne's rep, newly minted compared to hers, benefits even more." 

Chris Kelly,