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SWISH
New Artists Records

CONNIE CROTHERS, piano
MAX ROACH, drums


By David Dupont

No one works harder to keep alive and extend Tristano's legacy than pianist Connie Crothers, his friend and student. On "Swish" she pairs up with Roach. The music on "Swish" though is a far remove from bop. Moving into territory hinted at by Tristano 35 years before, Roach and Crothers engage in abstract, improvised dialogues as much about texture and gesture as specific harmonic and rhythmic schemes. Roach, of course, in an acknowledged master at this kind of interplay. But Roach, as the star, doesn't dominate, nor does Crothers assume the lead role you'd expect of a pianist. Rather, they carry on a lively conversation with Crothers' sweeping lines and rumbling bass patterns often subtly echoing Roach's figures. The titles describe the pieces: "Symbols" features Roach's cymbal play; "Let 'Em Roll" his tom-tom tattoos; "Trading" has Crothers and Roach playing alternating cadenzas. Only the title "Creepin' In" doesn't fit the music; this piece doesn't creep but dashes along at a quick clip. Demanding music, but worth the effort.

Cadence
October 1993



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> SWISH
David Dupont,Cadence
October 1993




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