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Artist Profiles

Marilyn Crispell

By Published: October 13, 2006
The continued vitality of the creative music community, Crispell maintains, is bolstered by the passionate commitment of a few notable individuals. In particular, she acknowledges and underscores the exemplary efforts of: Lennart Nilsson, who single-handedly founded and fostered the New Perspectives festival in Vasteras, Sweden; Bernard Lyons, a British expatriate who sparked an active avant scene in Crispell's hometown of Baltimore; Chicagoans such as Marguerite Horburg (hostess of the Hot House), John Corbett (a jazz jack-of-all-trades), and multi-reedist Ken Vandermark, the latter two co-curators of a long-running Wednesday night free jazz series at the Empty Bottle; Pauline Oliveros of Kingston, New York; trombonist Dave Dove, director of the Pauline Oliveros Foundation in Houston, Texas; Ken Pickering, organizer of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival; and musician-friendly Manhattan venues such as The Stone and Tonic (run by John Zorn and John and Melissa (Caruso-)Scott, respectively). Although relatively unknown to the record-buying public, and less likely to appear in print than the artists they support, Crispell acclaims the yeoman contributions these individuals, all cornerstones of the improvisational arts community.

Following Dreamhouse, a major multi-media project with painter/sculptor Cy Twombly, a week residency at the Banff Centre International Workshop in Jazz, a co-directorship of the Vancouver Creative Music Institute and a recent duo concert with violinist Michelle Makarsky in Woodstock, NY, Crispell is excited about her upcoming activities. This month she teaches a master class and performs solo at the University of Wisconsin, followed by a Miller Theater gig in Manhattan, where her trio joins forces for the first time with tenor titan Joe Lovano; in November she'll reunite with Makarsky for England's Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, followed by solo recitals in Europe. With two new ECM recordings, solo and trio, on the horizon, Crispell is on the move, with plenty to look back on, and forward to.

Selected Discography

Guy/Crispell/Lyton, Ithaca (Intakt, 2003)
Marilyn Crispell, Nothing Ever Was, Anyway: The Music of Annette Peacock (ECM, 1997)

Anthony Braxton, Quartet (Santa Cruz) 1993 (hatART, 1993)

Marilyn Crispell, Live in Zurich (Leo, 1989)

Marilyn Crispell, For Coltrane (Leo, 1987)

Marilyn Crispell, Spirit Music (Cadence, 1981)

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