Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Connie Crothers and Michael Bisio in a Breathtaking Duet

Improvisational music depends so much on the time, place and inspiration of the players. Once in a while, we are all lucky that the tape is rolling when everything conjoins wonderfully.

Session at 475 Kent (Mutable) is just such a recording. The place is Connie Crothers' studio, with great acoustics and a congenial environment to make some music. The time is May of last year, so late spring is in the air, and, well, let's just say that this is one of the most moving performances of free improvisation I've heard in a long time.

Connie Crothers makes pianistic things happen. She has devoted her life to a style that cannot be easily classified; even less can she be dismissed as "follower of so-and-so." It's Crothers who has gone her own way from the time of her first album in the '70s through to today. She has deep roots in the music, but whether she chooses to evoke them directly or not becomes a part of a performance on any given occasion. She has a very fertile, musically inventive gift and a pianistic touch that puts her in with the world-class few who can really make the piano sing. She does here.

Michael Bisio in many ways parallels Connie in that he is a marvelously inventive bassist that seemingly has burst forth over the years as a musical trunk rather than a branch. His technique is formidable, both pizzicato and arco, and he taps into a virtually inexhaustible wellspring of musical ideas when he plays.

These are two artists that have a perfectly simpatico viewpoint of what is possible in a freewheeling improvisational setting. The music they make on this recording is pure magic. Do not miss it.

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