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 Jordan Richardson

Pianist Connie Crothers and tenor saxophonist Jessica Jones color outside the lines on Live At the Freight, a duo recording taken from a session in August of 2011 at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley.

Through the course of seven tracks, Crothers and Jones mesh their improvisational instincts with their practical talents and turn in a set of free-flowing music. The quality of thepartnership is apparent from the outset; these two artists listen as well as they play, fusing elegant and sharp lines to the underpinnings of some of the American Songbook's finest entries.

"Musically speaking and on a life level, we feel areas of enormous affinity," Crothers says of her relationship with the saxophonist. "Jessica is a great friend and we have talked about how we were shaped by growing up in Northern California and making our way as improvising musicians in New York. There's a freedom that comes from the recognition of this affinity." This sense of freedom is apparent at the outset of Live At the Freight, with an almost eccentric rendering of "All the Things You Are" by Kern and Hammerstein leading off the record. The familiarity of the melody is present but elusive, with Crothers' ivories tapping around the core and Jones' reed exploring the contours of the music rather than the basis of it.

There's also "In a Sentimental Mood." Once again, the ideological path through this Duke Ellington joint isn't so much about playing a standard as it is playing with a standard. Crothers builds tension with various piano flourishes and a spacious, intelligent solo, while Jones pushes through with muscled tones and emotional purpose.

Crothers has indeed been busy as of late, with five albums - including a four-CD box set - released last year alone. TranceFormation, a bracing and clever record featuring Andrea Wolper and Ken Filiano, seems to have at least in part laid some of the groundwork for the Freight session.

Something Else! Reviews
2013


 


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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