bio discography  


SWISH
New Artists Records

CONNIE CROTHERS, piano
MAX ROACH, drums


By Bill Shoemaker

★★★★

While the duo exchange of the open-ended improvisation are not new performance propositions for Roach, his collaboration with Connie Crothers, a pianist who has expanded Tristano's labyrinthine complexes, is a refreshing surprise. Of all of Roach's recent duo activities, his encounter with Crothers is most analogous to his work with Anthony Braxton, as the music pivots more on concepts, moods, and procedures than on concrete thematic materials. While Crothers employs many of the percussive techniques associated with Cecil Taylor, a close comparison to the now-legendary, never-issued Taylor/Roach duo concert would be farfetched, as the core of Crothers' style is a linearity and a deliberate sense of motivic development derived from Tristano. Crothers' orientation lends an introspective element to much of the album, particularly the haunting "Ballad No. 1." The strategies of several of the compositions are described or hinted at by their titles, although it should be noted that "Trading" has nothing to do with the four- and eight-bar structures Roach mastered in the '40s, and the "Let 'Em Roll" showcases Roach's timbral control on tom-toms. Most important, the mark of a successful duet--responsiveness--is in evidence throughout the program.

Downbeat
September 1983



MORE REVIEWS OF
SWISH

SWISH
Jon Andrews, Downbeat
August 1994

> SWISH
Bill Shoemaker, Downbeat
September 1983

SWISH
David Dupont,Cadence
October 1993




back to main review page