Michael Bisio & Connie Crothers

Friday, October 2, 2009 @ 8:30 pm

This is compelling improvised music — a music whose creation flows from a
shared perception and reverence for the traditions involved, risk,
developing the individual voice, empathy,treasuring the journey as the
destination.

This performance anticipates the duo’s debut recording for Mutable Music.

CONNIE CROTHERS (pianist) is known for uncompromising improvisation. She currently performs with her quartet, featuring alto saxophonist Richard Tabnik, drummer Roger Mancuso and bassist Ken Filiano.This quartet’s latest CD was chosen for three best-of-the-year lists.The quartet has appeared in NYC at The Stone, the Rhythm in the Kitchen Festival, Birdland, “Cooler in the Shade,” and at The Outpost Performance Space in Albuquerque, NM, with poet Mark Weber. Her solo performances include a set at the Vision Festival, Merkin Concert Hall in the “Interpretations” series, Northampton Center for the Arts in the “World of Piano” series, the Berlin Jazztage, Cooper Union, the New Music America Festival, the DuMaurier International Jazz Festival, Middleheim Festival. Roulette presented a duet with electroacoustic improviser and composer Ben Manley; in another Roulette concert she performed duo with Kevin Norton. With Jemeel Moondoc, she performed at the Vision Festival, Tonic, Hallwalls in Buffalo, and at The Stone with Moondoc and Henry Grimes. She appeared at The Stone with a newly formed trio, TranceFormations, with singer Andrea Wolper and Ken Filiano, and duo with clarinetist Bill Payne. Her most recent CD, with Payne, was chosen for two “best of the year” lists. Five other recordings have appeared on critic’s “1O best” lists.
After attending the University of California in Berkeley, she moved to New York in 1962 to study with Le nnie Tristano, who presented her in solo concerts at Carnegie Recital Hall. She also performed there with tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh, Roger Mancuso, drums and Joe Solomon, bass. She co-led an engagement with Marsh at the Village Vanguard, with bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Peter Scattaretico. In 1982, she recorded duo with Max Roach and co-led an engagement with Roach and dancers Bill T. Jones, and Arnie Zane at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. More recently, she performed duo with Roach in Bologna, Italy, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, Tokyo, Japan and Harvard University where she was co-honored as Visiting Jazz Artist. Connie co-led a quartet with Lenny Popkin, tenor saxophone, featuring bassist Cameron Brown and drummer Carol Tristano, touring Europe and Canada and appearing  at the Blue Note, Sweet Basil, Birdland, the Spoleto Festival. Marian McPartland featured Connie on her NPR radio series “Piano Jazz.”

Michael Bisio invariably astounds audiences with the beauty of his tone and the intensity of his very personal musical language. He has received 4 stars from DownBeat, Jazz Times states his music “resonates with intelligence, emotional depth and probing virtuosity.” Journalist Paul DeBarros in Signal to Noise notes; “For years free improvisers have explored the tactile aspect of performance, in which the nature of the encounter between the player and the instrument becomes the subject of the music itself. Bisio is one of the few musicians that has managed to meld this high-concept sense of physicality with the soulful charge of jazz. His fiddle-high, scraped overtones create a tangled choir that is impossible to resist; his expressiveness with the bow is unmatched. Having whirled the listener into a transportive state, he gently shows them the way out…” “His expressive touch is distinctive.” The New York Times

As a recording artist Michael appears on over 50 cds, he is leader on 10 cds and co-leads 7 duet recordings. His recorded output has consistently met with critical praise. Michael’s first international release, In Seattle, (Silkheart), was chosen as one of the “Best Jazz Records of the 1980’s” in the Village Voice. The cd Connections, (CIMP), 2005, as reviewed in Cadence Magazine. “…this is another important disc from Bisio and company that highlights Bisio’s talents as a musician, composer and bandleader.” Expect fourteen new releases in 2009 includoing two more MBQ cds on the CIMP and Not Two labels, duets with Connie Crothers, (Mutable), and Old Dog, By Any Other Name, (Porter Records).

As a composer Michael has been recognized with nine project grants from various arts organizations, in 2003 he was awarded an Artist Trust Fellowship.

Seminal studies in creative music processes were with Bill (William O.) Smith and Stuart Dempster.Early tenure with trumpeter Barbara Donald and saxophonist Carter Jefferson left an indelible mark on Michael’s music and spirit. Another major influence is Joe McPhee. Joe and Michael created a body of work that includes two duo cds, Finger Wigglers and Zebulon, (CIMP) in addition to over a dozen other releases including: Port of Saints, (CJR), Joe Giardullo’s Shadow and Light, (Drimala), and Angels, Devils and Haints, Joe Mcphee and the World Bass Quartet, (CJR).

Other artists Michael has collaborated with include: Wayne Horvitz, Charles Gayle, Bob Nell, Sunny Murray, Louie Belogenis, John Tchai, Pauline Oliveros, Vinny Golia, Julian Priester, Eyvind Kang, Diedre Murray, Rashied Ali, Jim Nolet, Saadet Turkoz, Dominic Duval, Tomas Ulrich, Oluyemi Thomas, Matthew Shipp, Karl Berger, Warren Smith, Connie Crothers, Sonny Simmons, Jay Rosen, Avram Fefer and Stephen Gauci.

“Bisio’s ability to project such a diverse array of timbre and technical skill mark him as one of the leading bassist of his time.” Steven Loewy, www.allmusic.com