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MUSIC FROM EVERYDAY LIFE was chosen by John Sutherland for his list of the ten best recordings of the year 2001 in CODA Magazine

Connie Crothers, solo piano

By Frank Rubolino

The piano style of Connie Crothers is replete with rich textural phrasing and an ability to dissect a composition to expose its barest roots. Crothers has been an adept pursuer of creativity since the 1960s when she studied under Lennie Tristano and thereafter began performing publicly in the New York area. Her playing is filled with depth and density, hinting at a somber, seemingly brooding persona, which in reality is counter indicative of her true character. This perception is particularly suggested on the solo album Music from Everyday Life. While the title might imply a lighthearted romp, it is anything but that. The songs unfold in heavy layers of sound that cascade from her piano with abundant resonance. Her program of original and standard material is an announced statement of personal, subjective choice, and it is played with intensity and an obvious outpouring of emotion.

While one would expect her own compositions to be freeform vehicles, I was surprised and impressed by the way Crothers approached the standards. Songs such as "Lover Man", "Star Eyes", and "How High the Moon" are played with such originality that the melody lines are fully submerged under her interpretive direction. She projects the essence of the songs without ever having to make an overt statement on the theme. Only on the opening segment of "Good Morning Heartache" does even the slightest hint of the theme surface. This subtlety indicates an ability to hear far beyond the superficial level of melody. Crothers makes heavy use of the lower end of the register in probing the labyrinth she designs inside the songs. Her right hand adds the sparkling relief, but the most meaningful statements are derived from the bottom end of the sound spectrum. The tunes are the essence of full-bodied articulation, and her exploratory endeavor results in substantive music with power framed in a veil of tenderness.
September 2001

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