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MUSIC IS A PLACE was selected for inclusion in the ten best recordings of 2007 by Stuart Broomer ( and Village Voice) and Bill Shoemaker ( ).

All About Jazz: New York also selected this CD for their Honorable Mention for the best recordings of 2007 and Howard Mandel ( included it in a best-of-the-year listening category in 2009.


Connie Crothers Quartet, New Artists Records (2007)

By Bruce L. Gallanter

Connie Crothers Quartet - Music is a Place [New Artists 1043; USA] Featuring Connie Crothers on piano, Richard Tabnik on alto sax, Ratzo Harris on bass and Roger Mancuso on drums. Although pianist and composer Connie Crothers studied with the influential pianist/composer/philosopher Lennie Tristano so many years ago, she continues to be associated with Tristano and his other students or collaborators. The thing is, Ms. Crothers has continued to evolve and has some dozen discs out as a leader. Each one a worthy gem to consider. She has worked with members of this great quartet for quite a long time, Tabnik for 25 years and Mancuso for 35 years. This particular quartet has worked together weekly for the past five years. You can hear the proof in the pudding as there is a special bond that links this group together. Each of the seven pieces was composed by members of the quartet and each is special in a different way. “Helen’s Tune” has an odd structure that keeps shifting in different sections as if there are a couple of subgroups at work. It is both playful and slightly bent at the same time. Tabnik reminds me of Lee Konitz at times and Jackie McLean at other times with his unpredictable solos. Connie’s has a certain elegance and sophistication that puts her in a class by itself, she sounds like no one else but herself.

Another thing that makes this quartet so special is the way they all flow together, they have the dreamlike feel that reminds me of Miles’ rhythm team for the mid-sixties with Hancock, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams. Often Connie’s solos move in unlikely ways, starting in one direction and then adding layers of lines that she plucks from another realm, similar to the way Sun Ra often pulls rabbits our of hat or space-cap. It is rare at the store that Mike lets me leave on an entire 60+ minute jazz disc that we both find inventive and interesting throughout when we are working together, but this disc meets both of our high standards.

Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter
, June 29th, 2007


Connie Crothers Quartet, MUSIC IS A PLACE
Tom Greenland, All About Jazz: New York
June 9, 2008

> Connie Crothers Quartet, MUSIC IS A PLACE
Bruce L. Gallanter
Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter
June 29, 2007

Connie Crothers Quartet, MUSIC IS A PLACE
Stuart Broomer, Signal To Noise
Issue #48, Winter 2008, p. 75

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