FROM THE INSIDE OUT
Cadence, December 1995
The solos are the good things here. Dirke has some lovely, extended piano lines and Fite gets a laid back, gliding solo on "Body and Soul." A pair of short voice and drum duets with Carol Tristano give a better taste of Casanova's range and creativity. He's best served by the last two tracks, "Jazzonia," an original setting of a Langston Hughes poem with just bass accompaniment, and "Why Aren't You Laughing?," an original blues. These really show his powers, a flair for dramatic scale-climbing improvisations on the former and a silken singing voice that can tell a story like Oscar Brown Jr. on the latter. Bob Casanova is a talent. Hopefully next time he'll do a studio album that really shows his prowess.
Bob Casanova, vocal
Cadence, February 1998
The two artists have created four short originals for the album. On "Lament" Casanova sings in a falsetto voice to Crothers' piano creations for a striking effect. They attempt it again on the three parts of "Spontaneous Suite" and achieve a whole new level of originality. It is a Jeanne Lee-type approach to singing, and it's an interesting diversion from the other tunes they perform.
Casanova and Crothers have created a moving album that weds an atypical vocal style with creative piano improvisations. It was a treat to hear.
Jazz Times, March 2000
With flawless pitch and a range that extends well into the contralto register, vocalist Bob Casanova approaches his art with the improvisatory confidence of an experienced jazz saxophonist. Interestingly for one whose conception is decidedly non-traditional, he chooses to direct his attention towards a clutch of widely exercised standards, but so original is his that each performance emerges as a unique expression. Hardly an accompanist in the conventional sense, pianist Crothers, a long-serving disciple of Lennie Tristano, offers intermeshing backgrounds and solos just as striking as Casanova's melodic variations. In keeping with Tristano's working method, their repertoire includes such warhorses as "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To," "Lover Man," "When You're Smiling," "Out of Nowhere," and "I'll Remember April," but they also offer Dimitri Tiomkin's 1957 movie theme, "Wild is the Wind," and the jointly composed "Lament" and "Spontaneous Suite," a fascinating three-part reminder of Lennie's spur-of-the-moment experimentations with Lee Konitz.