jazz, free-jazz and improvised music

mark weber | birthday poem for connie

from left to right: Virg Dzurinko, Carol Liebowitz, Connie Crothers, late evening July 13, 2o10, Park Slope, Brooklyn NY, waiting to catch a train | Photo by Mark Weber


There is the love of chords
— it is a piano, after all —
and the love of music and possibility
and the love of music and possibility
But the chords are merely dabs of
color, clouds of energy dotting the
staff, lightening bolts electrify the
page, the page disappears, it might
be “Melancholy Baby” or “What Is This
Thing” huge waves of energy
surrounding these songs, like rolling
thunder — like that lightening bolt I
saw in the backlands of Utah hit the ground
and roll like a ferris wheel for two miles,
black clouds, made me wonder if I was
going to survive — these are what chords
are for Connie — that ridge in Bandelier
I ran down in a storm with a backpack
lightening dancing all around me, rain
pounding — clouds that turn purple black
and open like a lotus — these are Connie’s
chords — fireflies flickering in the evening
woods of far Atlantic Long Island — I once
walked into a Manhattan record store after
hearing Connie play the night before and
suddenly realized What could I possibly
find in here that matches what I heard
last night? She played it all —

At these concerts of cosmic chords
you can literally see the waves of energy
that Connie is moving around, waves of
pulsing light, benevolent energies drawn up
from deep out of the Earth, an old song
has left its chords and melody behind
and returned to its source, become pure
song, a little piano with Connie swirling
on our little planet swirling in the

–Mark Weber
May 2, 2o11

from left to right: Virg Dzurinko, Carol Liebowitz, Connie Crothers, late evening July 13, 2o10, Park Slope, Brooklyn NY, waiting to catch a train | Photo by Mark Weber


  1. Mark Weber

    This photo was late at night, almost 11pm or later,
    before the last trains left Park Slope for the City —
    we had been at a gig seeing Dori Levine sing and
    Virg in a quartet, at a overly airconditioned joint with
    an Ulster-Scot bartender ( ! ) called Puppets Jazz Bar,
    great place. Hill Greene on bass; Gary Levy on his 1931 Conn alto sax; Dori, vocals; and Virg Dzurinko on piano. And the pianist Charles Sibirsky, who apparently lives in the
    neighborhood, dropped by — I have his records but had
    never met him before.
    Virg was tremendous, very cool. I’m a big fan of her work.
    Dori is a complete original singing
    “Pennies from Heaven”
    “If I Had You” (with addditional lyrics by Virg)
    “Mean to Me” (Virg lyrics on bridge)
    “All of Me”
    “When I Fall in Love”
    “Why Aren’t You Laughing”
    . . . as I recall the second set was in memory of the
    late Bob Casanova, some things from his repertoire.
    I also remember that Carol’s right arm was in a cast
    from breaking her wrist — which, has since healed
    just fine, and in total working condition — she’s my
    other favorite pianist.

  2. Mark Weber

    I also remember that night sitting with Connie in Puppets
    how she amazed me her knowledge of all the hip photographers when I was explaining to her my new
    (1974) camera, the rangefinder Olympus 35-RC, that
    she knew Roy DeCarava, the Harlem photographer, or
    had some connection with him, and that she had read
    Henri Cartier-Bresson’s THE DECISIVE MOMENT,
    which, I never meet anyone who’s read that book except maybe
    my good friend and filmmaker Eric Breitbart. When I show
    people this camera I tell them to think Cartier-Bresson,
    Robert Frank, Allen Ginsberg, and Eugene Atget, who
    all used rangefinders. (Rangefinders are to SLRs what a nylon-string classical guitar is to a Fender Stratocaster — pretty much the same animal except a completely different outcome.)(SLR = Single Lens
    Reflex camera.)(Note: rangefinders are not “point and shoot” cameras.)

  3. Mark Weber

    So, these shots of three of my 5 favorite pianists (the
    others being Harvey Diamond and Kazzrie Jaxen)
    was in
    very low lighting, I had the trio stand under a street
    lamp and still it was very dim. But, Klaus worked on
    these pix and made them presentable. I love these
    photos. It was a good night out on the town.

  4. Richard Tabnik

    Wow! There’s a LOT of music in that photo!

    Great, Mark.

  5. Mark Weber

    Also on the scene that night were two young saxophonists
    to keep an eye & ear out for: Nick Lyons
    and Lorenzo Sanguedolce who arrived on his bicycle!
    That tripped me out. A bike in New York City. (Nick
    came by train and bus and foot like the rest of us.)

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