Marlboro, New York
November 26, 2017
From a furious flurry of dissonance, Paul Motian
's energetic "Cosmology" emerged as the declarative opening salvo for this intuitive and adventurous set by pianist Marilyn Crispell
, bassist Joe Fonda
, and drummer Harvey Sorgen
Crispell, long a Hudson Valley treasure, freely incorporated her challenging harmonics, piercing runs, phrases, and melodic cluster bursts into the spacious and often acrobatic rhythmic inventions of fellow Anthony Braxton
alumni Fonda and Sorgen. With each player creating as the moment demanded, the music came at you boldly (Fonda's "GS#2"); in beautifully controlled tides, (Sorgen's "Immortal Hymn" wherein Crispell's delicate interpretation of the main theme instantly convinced you you've heard the song all your life, even if this was the first time, and it was.) Some animated bass gymnastics heralded another Fonda composition, "My Soul," which eventually opened up into a free symmetry for each cohort to find their voice. Crispell hit her percussive stride with a song Sorgen called "Calypso." A head banging collision of hard bop followed, before giving way to a truly remarkable and inspirational reading of Coltrane's exultant "Dear Lord."
The set ended on this high, high note, and a sigh from a fellow Hudson Valley jazzer who simply said "Time-stopping. That was time stopping." Yes it was.