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 AND NEW YORK DAYS: The trumpet calls the faithful

ENRICO RAVA AND NEW YORK DAYS: The trumpet calls the faithful

It’s disappointing and embarrassing that one encounter may put you off a musician for such a long time. Then, shame-faced, you crawl your way back later and have to concede everybody else was... > Read more

PIANIST JAY McSHANN: From Charlie Parker to Keith Richards . . .

PIANIST JAY McSHANN: From Charlie Parker to Keith Richards . . .

About 20 years ago I interviewed the legendary Kansas City pianist, Jay McShann, in an Auckland bar. He’d flown in late the previous afternoon, had a “talk-rehearsal” with the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Scotty's salmon'n'scallop filo gateau with a capsicum dill buerre blanc

Scotty's salmon'n'scallop filo gateau with a capsicum dill buerre blanc

This superb and astonishingly easy recipe comes courtesy of Scotty Newcombe, chef at Lake Brunner Lodge in the South Island of New Zealand. Lake Brunner Lodge is one of those ideal retreats... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Wilson Pickett; Original Album Series (Rhino)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Wilson Pickett; Original Album Series (Rhino)

For many people their sole knowledge of Wilson Pickett might be as the guy who did/didn't turn up at the end of The Comittments, the invisible inspiation for that band. A few might know of his... > Read more