Friday, February 22, 2013

Alexis Parsons & Connie Crothers, Hippin'

Alexis Parson won some polls last year because she is very good. Connie Crothers wins polls and has for years because she is central to the music. Put the two together and let them freely interact without any song material except, towards the end, "Wild is the Wind."

Now of course Connie playing free is nothing new--but again of course it is nearly always extraordinary. "Free" vocals are not something you hear a great deal of. We musn't forget Abbey Lincoln and Patty Waters, two of the first, and there have been others, some excellent, that have followed, but not really a huge number of them.

After Ms. Parsons did her album of songs a while back (which I covered) I knew she was strong. But for a free date? Here we have the two and their Hippin' (New Artists 1047) doing just that. It turns out Alexis is very poised, inventive and personally unique in this mode too.

If everything works well for a date like this, the people involved have to be very attuned to what they will do. That's most certainly so. Then what they do needs to have interest, trajectory, drama, and so forth. There never is any doubt with what Connie would do here, because she is a monster improviser-artist. And so that happens to be the case once again. And Alexis Parsons gives you the surprise of having very much her own way of getting free and out there.

This is a winner! Outside and thoughtful in excellent ways.

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