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KINGSTON TONE ROADS (New Vanguard Series) is available for download on the Deep Listening website.

KINGSTON TONE ROADS
Crothers / Norton Duo plus Tabnik

by Robert Iannapollo

Percussionist / vibraphonist Kevin Norton can always be depended on to come up with something interesting. His earliest affiliations with Anthony Braxton and Fred Frith marked him as an adventurous collaborator. As comfortable with free improvisation as he is with writing and interpreting compositional material, Norton imbues his music with drive and rhythmic acuity. Recent stress on his vibes playing has further emphasized his artful use of color and shade as well as his stature as a contemporary improviser. The ensembles he’s helmed through the past decade have always dealt in music that prodded at the edges while allowing the players maximum amount of freedom.


Kingston Tone Roads finds Norton in a duet with pianist Connie Crothers. The pair have been playing together around New York for a number of years and it’s good this release (from a 2006 concert in Kingston, NY) is finally seeing the light of day. Although she’s tagged a as a pianist in the Lennie Tristano tradition, Crothers had long shorn that influence and developed a personal style that, while still virtuosic, also makes her an excellent improvising partner. She is a good match for Norton and the two are in sync in this set of three free improvs along with a fourth track that adds alto saxophonist Richard Tabnik. Norton plays both trap drums and vibes but there are always small percussion instruments around as well as a cymbal or two. This allows him to fill out the space so that at times the duets sound like a trio. But no matter how expansive these duets are (one is 25 minutes long), there’s never a flagging moment. They are continually listening to each other, commenting on each other’s phrases, each pulling the other along into uncharted territory. The addition of Tabnik on the last track at first seems almost intrusive. However, he is an interesting player with a dry, brittle sound that gives the music an added dimension. But ultimately this is a fascinating duo document and a good addition to both Crothers and Norton’s discography.

The New York City Jazz Record
September 2011


 

MORE REVIEWS OF
KINGSTON TONE ROADS

Connie Crothers / Kevin Norton + Richard Tabnik
KINGSTON TONE ROADS
Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes
September 2011


>Connie Crothers / Kevin Norton + Richard Tabnik
KINGSTON TONE ROADS
Robert Iannapollo, The New York City Jazz Record
September 2011


Connie Crothers / Kevin Norton + Richard Tabnik
KINGSTON TONE ROADS
Stuart Broomer, Point of Departure




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