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

Manfred Schoof Quintet: Resonance (ECM)

Manfred Schoof Quintet: Resonance (ECM)

Here is further proof that the past is a different country: this double disc pulls together tracks from Schoof albums of the mid to late Seventies when the contract of jazz was very different.... > Read more

Louis Sclavis Quartet: Silk and Salt Melodies (ECM/Ode)

Louis Sclavis Quartet: Silk and Salt Melodies (ECM/Ode)

By any measure this is an unusual album from French clarinettist Sclavis with guitarist Gilles Coronado and keyboard player Benjamin Moussay (who worked together previously as the Atlas Trio).... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

The Kentucky Headhunters with Johnnie Johnson: Meet Me in Bluesland (Alligator/Southbound)

The Kentucky Headhunters with Johnnie Johnson: Meet Me in Bluesland (Alligator/Southbound)

Here's one literally pulled from the vaults, a decade after the death of pianist Johnnie Johnson who was there for all those classic, early Chuck Berry sides. In the Eighties and Nineties,... > Read more

ONE FAST MOVE OR I'M GONE a film by CURT WORDEM (2009, Kerouac Films)

ONE FAST MOVE OR I'M GONE a film by CURT WORDEM (2009, Kerouac Films)

That Jack Kerouac's artistic life led to personal tragedy as much as literary triumph is evident to anyone who has read his searingly personal, dark then redemptive book Big Sur, a barely disguised... > Read more