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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Raymond MacDonald & Marilyn Crispell: Parallel Moments

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Philadelphia, PA, reared pianist Marilyn Crispell looms as one of the more prolific artisans of progressive jazz and avant-garde forums amid her affiliations with saxophonist, composer Anthony Braxton and bassist Gary Peacock, among others of note. Here, she aligns with highly respected Scottish saxophonist Raymond MacDonald, who is the co-founder of the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra and also composes for film, theater and TV. Therefore, many of these improvisation-based duets tend to bridge various perspectives and thought processes, and such is the case here, on this recording captured live in 2010 at London's Vortex Jazz Club. Indeed, the duo ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gary Peacock / Marilyn Crispell: Azure

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Who leads a project is often nothing more than a matter of optics. Bassist Gary Peacock's name may come first on the cover of Azure, but there's no doubt that this is a collaborative affair, with pianist Marilyn Crispell an equal participant; the two even co-produced the recording, with label head Manfred Eicher nowhere to be found. Peacock and Crispell have worked as a duo for years, in addition to delivering two sublime trio recordings for the label with the sadly departed Paul Motian: the pianist's ECM debut, 1997's Nothing Ever Was, Anyway, and the even more impressive Amaryllis (2002). ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Marilyn Crispell / Harrison Smith / Eddie Prevost: London, UK, November 7, 2012

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Marilyn Crispell / Harrison Smith / Eddie PrévostCafé OtoLondon, UKNovember 7, 2012It was almost as if no-one wanted to break the perfection of the anticipatory hush at north London's Café Oto. Eventually, Harrison Smith ventured a quizzical phrase on tenor saxophone, which inaugurated an unostentatious exchange of ideas and viewpoints. Pianist Marilyn Crispell, hair draped forward shielding her face like a veil, imparted her pronouncements with gradually increasing density, while drummer Eddie Prévost's brushes danced across his kit.Crispell first came to prominence in the late '70s and early '80s with reedman/composer Anthony Braxton's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gunhild Seim Time Jungle, with Marilyn Crispell: Elephant Wings

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With Elephant Wings, Norwegian trumpeter Gunhild Seim grows the number of albums released, since beginning her career as bandleader of Time Jungle more than five years ago, to three, including 2007's Time Jungle and 209's Morpho, all released on her own Drollehålå imprint. Each has been a beautiful gem, demonstrating Seim's compositional skills to balance and contrast between a subtle, tender aesthetic with fierier and more intensive playing. Elephant Wings is another excellent set of compositions, with Seim collaborating, this time, with renowned American pianist Marilyn Crispell, following a joint tour in Norway and Germany. Crispell plays ...

MUSIC AND THE CREATIVE SPIRIT

The Spiritual Beauty of Marilyn Crispell

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There have been a number of pianists within the classical and jazz genres whose work have remained majestic and timeless, but never has there been a pianist quite like Marilyn Crispell. Never has a pianist been able to reach such extraordinary depths of spirituality and complexity. Nevertheless, levels of creativity rarely equate to levels of popularity and therefore, it's not surprising that visionary works remain largely misunderstood and unappreciated during their own time. Such is the case with Marilyn Crispell.But what distinguishes Crispell so subtly and distinctly from other pianists is her innate ability to express and transcend ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marilyn Crispell / David Rothenberg: One Dark Night I Left My Silent House

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There are those who decry pianist Marilyn Crispell's move towards sparer, introspective free improvisation with Nothing ever was, anyway. Music of Annette Peacock (1997)--the beginning of a now nearly 15-year association with the German ECM label. For those who prefer their spontaneity impressionistic rather than expressionistic, however, it has yielded a relatively small but impressive discography, ranging from trio dates such as the deconstructive Storyteller (2004) to unerringly beautiful solo sets like Vignettes (2008). One Dark Night I Left My Silent House represents a number of firsts for the free-spirited pianist, and is an unequivocal success.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Geggie / Marilyn Crispell / Nick Fraser: Geggie Project

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Released a few months prior to Across the Sky (Plunge, 2009) and, despite the two releases really representing one multifaceted debut, Geggie Project is the official first release as a leader from John Geggie, a bassist deserving far greater recognition. Geggie Project finds the Ottawa, Canada-based bassist, Toronto-based drummer Nick Fraser, and inestimable free improvising pianist Marilyn Crispell entering the realm of music as conversation. Given her more recent inward-looking proclivities, it wouldn't be a huge leap to compare Geggie Project with recent Crispell trio recordings like Storyteller (ECM, 2004), but doing so only completes half the picture. ...



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