Born in 1941, Connie Crothers made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1974 as a solo jazz pianist, and her first album PERCEPTION, came out that year on the SteepleChase label. Subsequent reissues of PERCEPTION were named Coda’s 10 Best Records of 1983, Jazz Magazine’s record of the month in 1986, and record of the month in Jazz Hot in 1995. Crothers recorded SWISH, a duo album with drummer Max Roach, in 1982, and toured with him in Europe, Asia and the US. Their collaboration was honored by Harvard University, which named them Visiting Jazz Artists, and inspired a composition by Anthony Braxton. The Crothers/Roach duo also appeared with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
In the ’80s and ’90s, the pianist worked as a soloist and in groups that at various times included Lenny Popkin, alto saxophonist Richard Tabnik, tenor saxophonist Charlie Krachy, bassist Cameron Brown, and drummer Carol Tristano, among others. LOVE ENERGY (New Artists), a quartet CD co-led by Popkin and featuring Carol Tristano and Cameron Brown, was chosen as the #1 record of 1992 by Jack Cooke in Wire; another release from this quartet, IN MOTION, was honored as the best of 1991 by Jazz Magazine.
Recent recordings include four recordings from 2012 as a leader or co-leader including a 4-CD box set SPONTANEOUS SUITES FOR TWO PIANOS with pianist David Arner on the RogueArt label. Grego Applegate Edwards writes: “It is one of the finest improvisational solo-pianistic moments we have experienced in recorded form to date. It will repay your attention with an enthralling sublimity.” A duet recording with alto saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc, TWO, was also issued by the Relative Pitch label in 2012.
Her SESSION AT 475 KENT recording (Mutable Music), a duo session with Michael Bisio, was placed on three top 10 records of the year lists in 2010 in Cadence Magazine and by the Jazz Journalists Association. 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.