discography

“Live at the Freight” was named one of the 10 best recordings of 2014 by Ken Weiss (Cadence, Jazz Inside) and Duck Baker (The Absolute Sound, New York Jazz Record)

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Live at the Freight
New Artists Records (2013)

CONNIE CROTHERS, piano
JESSICA JONES, tenor sax

By Brian Questa

This was one of the most delightful musical surprises I’ve ever come across. I expected exceptional playing, but I wasn’t expecting such a kick in the face. (A pleasant kick in the face) That’s exactly what I got—some of the most sobering jazz improvisation on record. This is a noble addition to the great jazz duos in the history—Jim Hall and Bill Evans, Ellington and Blanton, Horace Parlan and Archie Shepp, to name my favorites. Jessica Jones and Connie Crothers’ effort, Live and the Freight, is every bit as memorable as the aforementioned duos, and every bit as worthy. I promise you, I cannot think of a better example of a performance so grounded in the jazz tradition, and yet so effortlessly unbounded. The tunes on this album are free improvisation, and the free improvisations are tunes.

Connie Crothers is a master pianist, unrivaled in the scene today. Her fearless playing, with its risks and endless directions, can leave one breathless. I get the distinct perception—only possible from a handful of players in history—that she is truly improvising at every single moment, responding to the input from Jessica Jones, the exigencies of the moment, and her own musical motives, unanimously. To Jones’ smooth bluesy phrasing, Crothers sometimes plays the obliging accompanist—other times, the devil’s advocate. Pushing and pulling between the blues and the upper extensions of the now, Jones’ tendency is to blend, like the harmonization of instrumental tone itself, as she becomes the third hand at Connie Crothers’ piano.

Years into the future, this album will continue to present information to its listeners. Each track is filled with a wealth of knowledge and command. It can be a difficult experience to hear the entire album in one sitting: the thoughts brewed in me from a single track last for days. One must prepare for this one. Here is an album you may not discover on a “greatest hits” list for albums of 2014 from your typical jazz blog —for that very reason, you’re going to want to hear this.

The Free Jazz Collective
April 30, 2014


 


MORE REVIEWS OF
LIVE AT THE FREIGHT

LIVE AT THE FREIGHT
Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Music Review, 2013

> LIVE AT THE FREIGHT
Brian Questa, The Free Jazz Collective
April 30, 2014

LIVE AT THE FREIGHT
Robert Iannapollo, Cadence
April / May / June 2014

LIVE AT THE FREIGHT
Brent Black, Critical Jazz
2013

LIVE AT THE FREIGHT
Jordan Richardson
Something Else! Reviews, 2013

LIVE AT THE FREIGHT
Alex Henderson
Jazz Inside, October 2013

LIVE AT THE FREIGHT
Tom Greenland, The New York City Jazz Record
September 2013





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