discography


SPONTANEOUS SUITES was selected for inclusion in the ten best recordings of 2012 by Ken Weiss (Jazz Improv) Alain Drouot (Downbeat, WNUR-FM) and Pat Frisco (jazzcorner.com , July 16, 2012).

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CONNIE CROTHERS and DAVID ARNER
SPONTANEOUS SUITES FOR TWO PIANOS
4-CD box set. ROGUEART 0037. www.roguart.com

By Ken Waxman

This mixture of delicacy and strength is expanded to its pianistic limits on Spontaneous Suite for Two Pianos, Rogueart R0G-037 These four CDs capture an entire recording session beginning with the evocative acceleration from feathery chording to anvil-like kinetic pressure on CD1, track 1, and conclude with key-clipping near player-piano continuum on CD4, track 7. Anyone who follow dual keyboardist like Radu Lupu and Murray Perahia or Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson will be staggered by the work here. Completely improvised, the nine interlocking suites expose almost all variations of what can be extracted from 176 keys. Technical wizardry plus jazz inflections are apparent in the playing of Connie Crothers and David Arner, yet focussed reductionism as well as spontaneity is also on tap. Piano guru Lennie Tristano’s most accomplished student, New York-based Crothers has recorded with jazzmen like drummer Max Roach. Up-state New York’s Arner is associated with choreographers such as Meredith Monk. Playing side-by-side with layered chords, palindromes or in counterpoint, the two evoke many aspects of piano literature while creating their own. For instance “The Hoofer” which bounces and taps as a terpsichorean fantasia is followed by “Blues and the Moving Image”. Despite low-pitched glissandi, this blues is polyrhythmic, depending on a dusting of high-frequency tremolo to provide the necessary emotion. “The Reckoning” is meditative and linear, while “Density 88X2” moves from jocular patterns to blunt syncopation. An extended sequence like “City Rhapsody” may unroll staccatissimo with soundboard rumbles and ringing cadenzas in equal measures, but it never unravels or loses connectivity. Overall the real connections this duo exhibits is with their own histories. Basso notes on “Swing Migration” and “Fool” both unearth Tristanto-like themes among the cumulative cascades and pitch-sliding vibrations.

thewholenote.com
November 2012

 


MORE REVIEWS OF
SPONTANEOUS SUITES

CONNIE CROTHERS and DAVID ARNER
SPONTANEOUS SUITES FOR TWO PIANOS
Ken Weiss, Jazz Inside
April 2012

CONNIE CROTHERS and DAVID ARNER
SPONTANEOUS SUITES FOR TWO PIANOS
Grego Edwards, Gapplegate Music Review
April 2012

CONNIE CROTHERS and DAVID ARNER
SPONTANEOUS SUITES FOR TWO PIANOS
Peter Aaron, Chronogram
July 2012

CONNIE CROTHERS and DAVID ARNER
SPONTANEOUS SUITES FOR TWO PIANOS
Brian Morton, Point of Departure
July 2012

> CONNIE CROTHERS and DAVID ARNER
SPONTANEOUS SUITES FOR TWO PIANOS
Ken Waxman, thewholenote.com
November 2012

 




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