Born: May 2, 1941 Primary Instrument: Piano
CONNIE CROTHERS is known for her uncompromising spontaneous improvisation, originality, virtuosity and a wide range of expression.
She has just released “Session at 475 Kent,” a duo with bassist Michael Bisio, on the Mutable label.
Her CD--”Conversations”--a duet recording with clarinetist Bill Payne, released in 1988 on New Artists--was chosen by Art Lange and Bill Shoemaker for their best of the year lists.
She leads a quartet, with alto saxophonist Richard Tabnik, drummer Roger Mancuso and bassist Ken Filiano.In January 2007, her quartet released a CD, “Music is a Place,” New Artists, with Ratzo Harris on bass. It was chosen by Stuart Broomer and Bill Shoemaker for their lists of the top ten recordings of the year; it received an honorable mention for best CDs of the year in All About Jazz/New York. In December, 2009, Howard Mandel chose this record for his best of the year list, in a listening category. The band’s two CDs, “Ontology” and “Live, Outpost Performance Space,” with poet Mark Weber, New Artists, received critical acclaim. She has performed with her quartet at the The Stone, JVC Jazz Festival and in Birdland and Small’s in New York City, Fasching in Stockholm (with guitarist Andy Fite and bassist Ulf Ackerhielm), Outpost Performance Space in Albuquerque.
Crothers curated The Stone in September, 2009. This curation was selected by Time Out magazine for a preview, getting the #2 spot for best live performance in New York City.
She has performed extensively as a soloist. She appeared solo in the 2008 Vision Festival. Ken Weiss wrote in Cadence that her set was one of the best three sets of the festival. She was presented as a soloist by the Interpretations Series at Merkin Hall in 2006, New York City, also performing a duet with Roscoe Mitchell in that concert; she performed at Deep Listening Space in Kingston, NY. She has performed solo in festivals such as Berlin Jazztage, Jazz at Middleheim in Belgium, DuMaurier International Festival in Toronto, New Music America Festival, “Piano Nights” Festival in St. Augustine. Lennie Tristano produced her in three solo concerts in Carnegie Recital Hall. John Sutherland chose her solo recording, “Music from Everyday Life,” for his list of the best ten recordings of the year in Coda. In October, 2009, she performed duo with Bisio at Location One, presented by Roulette, in New York City.
She is in a newly-formed trio--TranceFormations--with Andrea Wolper, singer, and Ken Filiano. They appeared at The Stone, the ISIM benefit concert in 2008 and at the Brecht Forum in 2007, in New York City, ISIM Conference in 2006 in Ann Arbor, MI.
Other performances include a quartet engagement with alto saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc, bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Chad Taylor, a trio performance with Grimes and alto saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc and a duet with Grimes at The Stone in New York City; She has performed with Moondoc at Hallwalls in Buffalo, Tonic in NYC and at the Vision Festival in a quintet which included trumpet player Nathan Breedlove, Adam Lane and drummer John McCutcheon. She performed duo with electroacoustic improviser Ben Manley at Location One. She appeared in a duet with percussionist Kevin Norton at Location One and Cornelia Street, NYC; Middletown, CT in Kingston, NY.
Crothers has recorded duo with Max Roach as part of his historic duets recording project--”Swish,” New Artists--and performed duo with Roach in Tokyo, Bologna, New Orleans and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Roach and Crothers were honored by Harvard University as Visiting Jazz Artists; during the ceremony they performed with the HarvardUniversity Band. For this concert, Anthony Braxton wrote a composition for them.
She co-led an engagement at the Village Vanguard with Warne Marsh, in a quartet featuring bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Peter Scattaretico. She performed with Marsh, with Roger Mancuso and bassist Joe Solomon in Carnegie Recital Hall.
“Love Energy,” New Artists, a quartet CD co-led by Lenny Popkin and featuring Carol Tristano and Cameron Brown, was chosen #1 record of the year by Jack Cooke in Wire. Another release from this quartet, “In Motion,” was selected for the best 50 records of the year by the French magazine, Jazz Magazine. The quartet appeared at the Blue Note, Sweet Basil and Birdland in New York City, De Singel, De Werf and L’Archeduc in Belgium, Bim House in Amsterdam, the Toronto International Jazz Festival, Spoleto in Charleston, NC. When her first record, “Perception,” originally on SteepleChase, was reissued in 1983 on Inner City, it was selected as one of the ten best records of the year by Mark Weber in Coda.When it was reissued in 1986, Patrick Williams chose it for record of the month in Jazz Magazine. When it was reissued in 1995, Claude Colpaert selected it as record of the month in Jazz Hot. Her duet recording with Richard Tabnik, “Duo Dimension,” was selected by Lois Moody for her year’s ten best list for Ottowa Citizen.
Feature articles have appeared in Knack, Belgium, Jazz Podium, Germany, Cadence, The Village Voice.
She was a guest on Marian McPartland’s radio show “Piano Jazz.”
In the centennial issue of Cadence, Crothers was selected for the list of the most important and influential musicians in the last twenty-five years of the 20th century.
Known for her association with Lennie Tristano, she teaches jazz improvisation in her studio in Brooklyn.