Born: May 7, 1977 Primary Instrument: Drums
Jeff Crouse is a drummer/ percussionist living in Cary, NC with a passion for music, performing, and teaching. His education includes a Bachelors of Arts in Percussion Performance from Virginia Tech and a Masters of Music in Studio Jazz Drumming from the University of Miami. He has been fortunate to study with some great musicians including Howard Curtis, Dr. John Floyd, Chip McNeil, Steve Bagby, and Steve Rucker. 2009 has proved to be a good year for Jeff as he has recorded 3 new albums, the latest of which is “Little Town: Carols for Christmas,” a jazz Christmas album.
This relatively unknown piano trio from Cary, North Carolina has made a solid self-produced album of holiday favorites. With Grant Osborne on piano, Peter Innocenti on bass and Jeff Crouse on drums, this understated trio deftly performs a cross-section of tunes familiar and less so. Singer Jeanne Jolly (what a great name for an appearance on a holiday music album!) joins in on two songs, also in understated fashion. The group came together after meeting at their local church for late night sessions and the music sounds like something that would be acceptable at a Jazz Vespers service. Not that it’s particularly spiritual in theme and tone. After all, they open the album with a lyrical version of “The Chipmunk Song,” and also take on modern classics like “White Christmas” and “Christmas Time is Here,” done here even slower than usual. Elsewhere the focus is indeed on carols and the lyrical quality of the trio fits those like a glove. After an upbeat “Auld Lang Syne” with a New Orleans second line backbeat, the trio closes the album with a Pat Metheny song “Always and Forever,” dedicating it to their wives and families. All in all, a restful and enjoyable piano trio album. ~ Lee Mergner, JazzTimes Magazine (December 2010)
Tasteful piano-bass-drums ensemble work in playful and wistful moods a la Vince Guaraldi (he of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” fame) by Triangle players and, on two cuts, singer Jeanne Jolly. ~ Owen Cordle - News & Observer (2009)