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

Charles Lloyd Quartet: Rado de Nube (ECM/Ode)

Charles Lloyd Quartet: Rado de Nube (ECM/Ode)

The rehabilitation and resurrection of saxophonist Lloyd is outlined elsewhere at Elsewhere (see tag) but in brief it goes like this: he made huge selling album in the late 60s which was embraced... > Read more

The Julia Hulsmann Trio: The End of A Summer (ECM)

The Julia Hulsmann Trio: The End of A Summer (ECM)

The prolific ECM jazz label has been getting a few notices at Elsewhere in recent months, but largely on the strength of its mid-price reissue of some excellent releases from its early catalogue... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

EPS by Yasmin Brown

EPS by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more

Liam Gallagher: As You Were (Warners)

Liam Gallagher: As You Were (Warners)

Quite a few were dismissive of Liam Gallagher's previous post-Oasis incarnation in Beady Eye, but round this way their debut Different Gear Still Speeding and the slightly lesser follow-up BE... > Read more