Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Connie Crothers Quartet: Ontology

Lennie Tristano eventually wound up having a lot of impact on jazz through Bill Evans, who picked up a lot from him and passed it on to other musicians. Still, the great Tristano, who created a system of modern jazz that was an alternative to bop, should’ve had more influence. For some reason, even early disciples like Billy Bauer reverted to anonymous styles when they were outside of his context. There are still a few musicians who carry on in his tradition, however, as this CD illustrates.

What’s nice about pianist Connie Crothers’ Ontology is that the members of the quartet on it aren’t slavish imitators of Tristano, Lee Konitz or Warne Marsh. Crothers has a sometimes dissonant and percussive, sometimes ethereal style of her own, and alto saxman Richard Tabnik’s playing is more vocal-inflected than Lee Konitz’s. Also, Tristano wanted bassists and drummers to do nothing but play time; bassist Sean Smith and drummer Roger Mancuso would’ve been too busy and unpredictable for him.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published