Marilyn Crispell, Gary Peacock, Paul Motian: Amaryllis (2004)
These trio reflections never exceed six minutes per piece. Thus, they come across as perfectly crafted and concise musical thoughts, despite their esoteric thrust. Avant-garde piano titan Marilyn Crispell ranges from hushed, sparkling lyricism to jagged "energy" playing a la Cecil Taylor, with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Paul Motian completing the conversational triangle. There are certainly parallels to be drawn between this album and Peacock and Motian’s 1999 trio outing with Paul Bley, Not Two, Not One. But here the high abstraction favored by Bley gives way to a somewhat more accessible, though no less rigorous and challenging, set of moods. Of the 12 tracks, four are freely improvised and the rest are pre-composed (three by Peacock, two by Motian, two by Crispell, the closing "Prayer" by Mitchell Weiss). Some of the pieces are culled from the artists’ previously recorded repertoire, including Peacock’s whimsical "December Greenwings" and the subtle juxtaposition of Motian’s "Conception Vessel/Circle Dance."
Track Listing: 1. Voice from the Past 2. Amaryllis 3. Requiem 4. Conception Vessel/Circle Dance 5. Voices 6. December Greenwings 7. Silence 8. M.E. 9. Rounds 10. Avatar 11. Morpion 12. Prayer
Personnel: Marilyn Crispell, piano; Gary Peacock, double bass; Paul Motian, drums