Primary Instrument: Guitar
Chris currently teaches privately in New York City as well as frequent positions within the N.Y.U. Jazz Department and The New School Jazz Department. Having been a long time friend and musician under the mentorship of George Garzone, Chris's fluidity on the instrument is uncompromising. While Leading a number of groups in New York City he has performed at every major jazz club including Birdland, Blue Note, Smalls, FatCat, Miles Cafe, The 55 Bar, The Bar Next Door, and Cornelia St. Cafe, Siberia, Charlie O's, B.Smith's, and Triad Lounge. As well as performances with Kenny Werner, Peter Slavov, Mike Mainieri, Ari Hoenig, John Lockwood, Dennis Irwin, George Garzone, Greg Tardy, Antonio Farao, Frank Tiberi, Bob Gullotti, Francisco Mela, Ben Street, Pete Zimmer, Jeremy Allen, John Sullivan, Rick Margitza, Essiet Essiet, Eivind Opsvik, Ross Pederson, Charles Blenzig, Sean Conly, Tony Moreno, Ian Froman, and Sam Yahel.
Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz
...this hard-working, earnest trio and the others make significant and confident contributions of their own to the proceedings. Crocco’s playing and some of his compositions can be dark and somber, though also probing and edgy. In the live performance some of his playing seemed to resonate so deeply it sounded a bit reminiscent of organ, especially in show and CD openers 'Piece of Mind' and 'Meta-Ethics.' But there’s a brighter side to some of the music and Crocco's interpretation on the guitar lightens up as well. 'To Silvia (Don’t Say Goodbye)' is a lyrical, beautiful ballad with strong melodic support from Garzone's more tender tenor vocalizing. And 'If I Only Had a Brain,' from The Wizard of Oz, provides ample opportunity for inventive improvising. These two pieces highlighted a highly energized live set. The skillful Garzone piloted the more buoyant mood further with a rousing version of the standard 'I Remember You'--not on the recording and so a nice reminder that with jazz outings you never know what you are going to get.
Laurel Gross, All About Jazz
...formidable guitarist Chris Crocco spends much of his time in the New York City area as a performer and educator. With his debut release, Crocco and his trio judiciously parallel the inference of the album title. Featuring sax giant George Garzone and drummer Francisco Mela, the music iterated here bridges finesse with power. Moreover, dynamics are poignantly distributed throughout these buoyantly executed pieces, while Crocco mans the lower register to occasionally compensate for the bass-less format. Here, the guitarist and Garzone interweave soloing maneuvers as they render contrapuntal phrasings while trading fours atop semi-structured themes.
This is one of the more original discs this reviewer has encountered in a long time, presenting free and indeed fluid improvisation as refracted through the instrumental prism created by electric plectrist Crocco, propulsive Cuban drummer Francisco Mela and masterly tenor saxophonist/teacher, George Garzone. This is a rather unusual configuration in jazz circles, but is full of passion and grit. The trio listen and bounce ideas off each other on a very intense level. 'Piece of Mind', 'Foreign Affairs' and 'Sand Rain' are prime examples of the fluidity found on the disc.
John Stevenson, eJazznews