Improvised Music

“TranceFormation in Concert” named a Downbeat Critics Poll Best Vocal CD selection! (Alain Drouot)

Relentlessly moving and imaginative. (Jason Bivens, Cadence)

As unified as an harmonic overtone series, their energy moves in synchronous impulse. (Katie Bull, New York City Jazz Record)

For those of us who like free improvisation, this is just what the doctor ordered. (O’s Notes)








TranceFormation, the trio of  Connie Crothers (piano), Ken Filiano (bass), and Andrea Wolper (voice) subverts expectation on several counts. From the first moment, this seemingly traditional piano-bass-vocal formation leaves tradition behind: there are no assumed or assigned roles; no singer “in front,” no instruments “in back,” no leader, no sideplayers. Instead, three musical “voices” join to make music cooperatively as they weave in, out, and among one another, extending, bending, and experimenting with the sonic capabilities of their respective instruments. Everything–music and words–is entirely improvised. If free improvisation frequently has been thought of as a move away from traditions (linear melody, tempos, tonal harmony, etc.), this group embraces spontaneous playing so entirely that anything is allowed to emerge, and the music, as well as the music-making process, is truly free. Collectively, the three players, all of whom are known as leaders and as participants in a wide variety of musical projects, have extensive backgrounds in jazz improvisation, classical performance, blues, theater, the avant garde, experimental and other kinds of music. When they join together in this trio, none of these musical influences is rejected. The result is music that moves easily from densely layered, to soulful, to energetic, to delicate and reflective, even to funny – a music that moves in and out of time and genre… The group welcomes the inherent mystery of the music making process: the altered, trance-like state that is the source of free and uninhibited expression; deep listening; curiosity; the depth of trust -in the self, in one another, in the music- that allows them to be in the musical moment with ears and hearts wide open.