bio discography

MUSIC IS A PLACE was selected for inclusion in the ten best recordings of 2007 by Stuart Broomer ( and Village Voice) and Bill Shoemaker ( ).

All About Jazz: New York also selected this CD for their Honorable Mention for the best recordings of 2007 and Howard Mandel ( included it in a best-of-the-year listening category in 2009.


Connie Crothers Quartet, New Artists Records (2007)

By Stuart Broomer

The modern jazz that first strikes the imagination is both random and organized, chaotic but unified, the entrance to another world. It is the modern jazz that I long for, that I know I've heard, but it's dimmed by too much knowledge of too many details, just as the current "mainstream" is murdered by its text book solutions, its pained historicism, or its ambitions to be "concert music," yet another level of commodity. By contrast, that mythical modern jazz would appear to the ear as continuously developing harmony rather than the reiteration of a popular song's pattern. The modern jazz I want, which is almost entirely telepathic, still has codes beyond my reach, while it attains a kind of perfect abstraction and collectivism, voices independently creating lines that somehow entwine and comment on one another. One imagines the underlying pattern disappearing afterward, indivisible from the creation of the piece. Now that's a music I hardly ever hope to hear because it repeats not a music, but an innocence of ear that should be beyond me. But I hear it in the music of the Connie Crothers Quartet which manages to balance traditional patterns and free improvisation in a way that is mysterious, magical and brilliant, in a way that clearly advances the Tristano/Konitz/Marsh school of linear abstraction without in anyway repeating it. Crothers is a stunning pianist, and the sudden traceries of "New York in the Blue Hour" would alone suffice to make her one of the most interesting pianists in jazz, her chordings a loose physical movement in which the fingers are part of a continuum rather than mere independent mechanism. A shared state of musical mind that unites Crothers with altoist Richard Tabnik (stunningly speech-like, like Coleman or Konitz; his upper-register chatter demands a hearing), bassist Ratzo Harris (a darting intelligence) and drummer Roger Mancuso (creating a streetscape of multiple exchanges), an intimacy so highly developed that you can turn to the back tray liner and expect a single composer only to find four, and vice versa. Music is a Place is work of continuous invention and dialogue, of shifting voices and sudden solo extrapolations; it's music that always feels as organized as bop, but it also sounds as loose as the best free jazz.

Signal To Noise, Issue #48, Winter 2008, p. 75


Connie Crothers Quartet, MUSIC IS A PLACE
Tom Greenland, All About Jazz: New York
June 9, 2008

Connie Crothers Quartet, MUSIC IS A PLACE
Bruce L. Gallanter
Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter
June 29, 2007

> Connie Crothers Quartet, MUSIC IS A PLACE
Stuart Broomer, Signal To Noise
Issue #48, Winter 2008, p. 75

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