May 2, 1941 — August 13, 2016
CONNIE CROTHERS, pianist, lived her musical life as performer, recording artist and teacher, releasing feeling—her source—into the music which realizes her range of expression, her virtuosity based in her love of the instrument and her desire to discover everything she can hear and imagine through spontaneous improvisation.
Connie was selected for a week residency at The Stone, from August 19 to 24, 2014. She performed twelve sets, each set with a different lineup of musicians. The duet set with Pauline Oliveros was chosen for the critics pick in the music section in Time Out magazine. This residency was a CD release celebration for “Concert in Paris,” a CD of selections from a solo concert performed in Paris in 2011, New Artists label. Earlier in this year, her quartet, with Richard Tabnik on alto saxophone, Ken Filiano on bass, Roger Mancuso on drums, released “Deep Friendship,” New Artists, a concert at William Paterson University. The quartet celebrated the CD release in a performance at Roulette in Brooklyn. This CD received a four-star review in DownBeat. She appeared in the Vision Festival in June with Times Three, a trio with Henry Grimes on bass and violin and Melvin Gibbs on electric bass. In this festival, she also performed in a set with the dancer Patricia Parker. She appeared at The Firehouse Performance Space, Brooklyn, in a quintet led by bassist Adam Lane which featured two pianos, the other pianist being Virg Dzurinko. She toured California with Jessica Jones, tenor saxophone, celebrating their 2013 CD release, “Live at the Freight.” This CD was chosen for best of the year lists by Ken Weiss and Duck Baker.
In 2013, the Relative Pitch label produced a duet CD with alto saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc, “Two.” She performed at the Vision Festival with poet Steve Dalachinsky. With the Northwoods Improvisers, she performed at the Edge Festival. She performed solo at Roulette. In 2012, the French label RogueArt released a four-CD box set, a duo with pianist David Arner, “Spontaneous Suites for Two Pianos.” Ken Weiss, Alain Drouot and Pat Frisco chose it for their best of 2012 lists. A trio, TranceFormation, with Ken Filiano and singer Andrea Wolper, released the CD, “TranceFormation in Concert,” New Artists. She recorded duo with singer Alexis Parsons, “Hippin’,” and duo with poet Paula Hackett, “Sharing the Thrill,” both released on New Artists. Four CDs were released in 2011. “Live at the Stone, NYC’’ features her quartet, performing with poet Mark Weber. Another band release is “Band of Fire,” the quartet plus Roy Campbell on trumpet. “The Stone Set,” is a duet performance with clarinetist Bill Payne. “Kingston Tone Roads,” features a duet with Kevin Norton on vibes and percussion, with Tabnik on one track, New Vanguard label. Connie’s quartet appeared in the 2011 Vision Festival. Writing in Jazz Inside, Ken Weiss described this set as “the highlight of the Festival.”
Max Roach and Connie recorded duo, as part of Roach’s historic duets project–“Swish,” New Artists. They performed duo at the Brooklyn Academy of Music with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, in Tokyo, and at Harvard University, where she was honored as Visiting Jazz Artist. She co-led an engagement at The Vanguard with tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh, featuring bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Pete Scatarettico. Marsh performed with her in Carnegie Recital Hall with Mancuso and bassist Joe Solomon. Connie’s quartet, co-led with tenor saxophonist Lenny Popkin, featured bassist Cameron Brown and drummer Carol Tristano. Their recording, “Love Energy,” was voted #1 of the year in Wire Magazine by Jack Cooke.
As a solo performer, she appeared in the Berlin Jazztage, Jazz at Middleheim when she received a feature article in Knack, the Toronto International Jazz Festival, and at Carnegie Recital Hall, presented by Lennie Tristano. Tristano wrote on her first record, “Perception,” SteepleChase, “Connie Crothers is the most original musician it has ever been my privilege to work with.”