Marilyn Crispell: Vignettes (ECM/Ode)

 |   |  <1 min read

Marilyn Crispell: Valse Triste
Marilyn Crispell: Vignettes (ECM/Ode)

American pianist Crispell was a longtime member of saxophonist Anthony Braxton's often demanding quartet, and that alone tells you she knows what it means to be put on the spot under the spotlight.

Braxton's was assiduously thoughtful improvised music which sometimes had the discipline of mathematical construction. But with sweat.

The ECM label however often invites a more contemplative approach, and that is exactly the mood Crispell invokes on her first solo album for the label in these meditative and poised pieces. Sort of piano haiku if you will.

Many of the pieces are specifically evocative (Valse Triste, Gathering Light, Time Past) and others are short improvisations which take their title from the collection, numbered pieces of which Vignette II is about as close to silence and Zen nothingness as you can imagine. Lovely.

On the other hand, Vignette III which follows is a one minute arm-wrestle of notes and muscular phrases. Brevity is the key element in the Vignettes (only one comes close to the three minute mark) but it is in the longer pieces where ideas are developed and explored -- and here Crispell stakes a strong claim to being one of the most daring yet considered pianists in improvised music today.

Listening music, if you know what I mean.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

Enrico Rava: On the Dance Floor (ECM/Ode)

Enrico Rava: On the Dance Floor (ECM/Ode)

Of all the tributes to Michael Jackson, this -- by the great jazz trumpeter Rava -- would seem the most unexpected. If Miles Davis were still alive we might not have been surprised by such an... > Read more

John Abercrombie Quartet: Wait Till You See Her (ECM/Ode)

John Abercrombie Quartet: Wait Till You See Her (ECM/Ode)

For the first two-thirds of this album featuring guitarist Abercrombie, violinist Mark Feldman, bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Joey Baron, the more vigorous emotions are kept in check: the tunes... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Various Artists: Chimes of Freedom; The Songs of Bob Dylan (Fontana)

Various Artists: Chimes of Freedom; The Songs of Bob Dylan (Fontana)

The Word magazine out of Britain recently had a very funny article about this four CD set of previously unreleased songs by artists covering Bob Dylan, profits from which go to Amnesty... > Read more

Ireland: Ancient stones and pathways

Ireland: Ancient stones and pathways

As an example of Kiwi understatement it was masterful. As he emerging from the 5000 year old tomb, blinking into the bright Irish sunlight, the strapping lad from Taranaki was asked what he... > Read more