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Best 10 Albums of the Year, Ken Weiss, Cadence. Best Jazz Album, New Release (tie): Connie Crothers, Concert in Paris (New Artists) 

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Concert In Paris
New Artists Records

CONNIE CROTHERS, piano

In the notes to Concert in Paris, veteran pianist Connie Crothers reflects back on both the sense of the unknown and the spirit of self-discovery that permeated her first trip to Paris as a teenager. That same sense of discovery suffuses this 2011 concert at Z’Avant Garde Performance Space, Crothers’ first solo concert in Paris. Crothers has long carried on the special musicallegacy of Lennie Tristano, sharing his compound commitment to improvisation, harmonic development and linear flow. The music springs simultaneously from Crothers’ thoughts and fingers, a series of long improvisations that take special inspiration from both memory and the immediate resonances of the piano and the room. There’s an exaggerated, dream-like presence here, as Crothers’ fondness for clusters finds additional resonance, vibration and symmetry within each handful of adjacent tones. The opening “Deuxième Naissance” bridges the watery chromatic impressionism of Debussy and teeming, echoing scales of Messiaen before turning from all those notes to the elemental sculpture of blues, creating a music at once authentically French in its sources and distinctly jazzlike.It is a summoning up of ancestors that continues in “Dans Mes Rêves” with its evocations of Gershwin’s concert music.

The longest and most potent of Crothers’ expeditions is “Homage aux Communards”, yet another improvisation rooted in history, a darker, hard-edged reflection that may be read as somber testament to the painful responsibility of taking one’s dreams to the barricades. The concluding “Espoir” is far gentler, Crothers wandering in a field of melody, picking up and discarding tunes as familiar as “Come Rain or Come Shine” and “How Deep Is the Ocean”. It’s a fitting conclusion to a concert in which past and present forms continuously transform one another.

Stuart Broomer
The New York City Jazz Record
December 2014




MORE REVIEWS OF
CONCERT IN PARIS

CONCERT IN PARIS
Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Music Review
September 29, 2014


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CONCERT IN PARIS
Stuart Broomer
The New York City Jazz Record
December 2014





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