bio discography

“CONVERSATIONS,” NA1044CD, is a reissue of the previously-released  duo CD of that name, and is now included in the release, "THE STONE SET." This two-CD package is available for the price of one CD.

THE STONE SET was selected for inclusion in the ten best recordings of 2011 by Ken Waxman of The New York City Jazz Record. CONVERSATIONS was selected as one of the ten best recordings of 2008 by Bill Shoemaker and Art Lange.

Connie Crothers and Bill Payne

by Chris Kelsey

Clarinetist Bill Payne is the very definition of the itinerant musician—his extensive résumé lists stints with at several traveling circuses, Broadway and Vegas shows, tours with the Russ Carlyle Orchestra, cruise-ship bands, and the infrequent bad day gig. Pianist Crothers's pedigree is a bit purer from a jazz perspective: once the protégé of Lennie Tristano, she remains one of the most exceptional representatives of his musical philosophy. Payne cites studies with Crothers as a turning point in his life. He's now obviously her peer. This track presents the pair in intense one-on-one engagement. Payne's non-tonal lines are classically tinged, augmented by a jazz musician's concern with forward motion and free expression. Crothers has the touch of a first-rate Debussy interpreter, and here her lines as well possess an impressionistic strain. Each player gives as much as he/she takes. Their interplay is indeed conversational, albeit highly animated—even argumentative. Crothers's status as one of the most accomplished in/out improvisers is only enhanced b y this release. Payne's rep, newly minted compared to hers, benefits even more.
August 27, 2008


Connie Crothers / Bill Payne, THE STONE SET
Ken Waxman, Jazz Word
February 2012

Connie Crothers / Bill Payne, THE STONE SET
Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Music Review / All About Jazz
October 2011

Connie Crothers / Bill Payne, CONVERSATIONS
Marc Medwin, All About Jazz: New York
November 2008

Connie Crothers / Bill Payne, CONVERSATIONS
Ed Hazel, Point of Departure
Issue #18, August 2008

> Connie Crothers / Bill Payne, CONVERSATIONS
Chris Kelsey,
August 27, 2008

Connie Crothers / Bill Payne, CONVERSATIONS
Scott Yanow, L.A. Jazz Scene
July 2008

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