The Woodstock Times July 1998
by Mikhail Horowitz

"The trombone gronks, and she responds with a thump of her paintbrush, a loud red thwak! on black. The cymbal shimmers, and she flicks an arpeggio of white streaks to accent the head of the drummer, whose likeness she's implied in a flurry of yellow lines. Often, the musicians react to her --a cadenza might cap a particularly vigorous commotion of strokes; an abrupt change in tempo might follow a series of long, slow gestural sweeps. Gradually, as Nancy Ostrovsky paints to live jazz by the Rosewell Rudd Trio, you become aware that what you're really watching is not three, but four musicians improvising.

Ostrovsky, of Accord, has been doing her vibrant thing to live jazz for some time now, ever since the days when she and Syd Smart ran a gallery together in Boston. She started by painting to Smart's drumming, crouched in a inconspicous corner of the floor. 'He'd do this percussion stuff that was really very sculptural, hitting these pots and pans and going up and down with his sticks, ' Nancy recalls, 'and I was going up and down with my sticks...it was like being in a kitchen and cooking together, and we just connected.'

Eventually, Nancy began to assert more of her physical presence in performance, quitting the floor, standing before a panel or canvas, painting to and with the music. Today, having worked with such illustrious and responsive players as David Murray, Fred Hopkins, and Andrew Cyrille, and having spent 20 years developing an 'inner vocabulary' of squiggles, daubs and smears thar correspond to musical figures, she sees herself, in performance, as part of the musical process. 'I've stopped trying to have some big concept about it,' she says. '[The performance] is just who I'm with, and where I'm at, and whatever's happening at the moment.'"