124

Barry Guy/Marilyn Crispell/Paul Lytton: Ithaca

Andrey Henkin By

Sign in to view read count
Barry Guy/Marilyn Crispell/Paul Lytton: Ithaca
In 1968, three Europeans—pianist Irene Schweizer, bassist Peter Kowald and drummer Pierre Favre—privately released Santana , on the surface a traditional piano trio, but in fact a violent refutation of jazz' most dependable format. Laden with a brutality that may have made Cecil Taylor blanche, Santana was another example of European free improvisation cutting the cord from traditional American jazz.

Now, 36 years later, another piano trio, comprised of peers of the Santana group (bassist Barry Guy and drummer Paul Lytton) plus American pianist Marilyn Crispell, has released Ithaca , an album that both recalls the work of the earlier trio and rescues the format from their vicious treatment.

Judged solely on its own merit, Ithaca is another firm entry into European improvised music, replete with all its attendant qualities: superlative musicianship, a full range of textures, and a rational, cerebral approach. Guy continues to expand the vocabulary of the acoustic bass, ably matched by Paul Lytton's abstract notions of rhythm and sound. Crispell, an American musician who has been bridging the gap between the continents, comports herself well given the company, her exuberance driving the more raucous portions and her delicacy coloring the more reserved ones.

Stood side by side with Santana , Ithaca is reactionary in the way that much British improvised music always has been. While the continent thundered away, Britain, including much of the work of Messrs. Guy and Lytton, was more thoughtful, forcing listeners to peer in, rather than ward off blows. There are moments of, let us call it the German ideal, but they are cushioned by contrastingly ethereal segments. If Santana effectively murdered Bill Evans, Ithaca dug up his corpse and used Schweizer, Kowald and Favre's collective brain to create a wonderful Frankenstein's monster.

Track Listing

Fire and Ice 10:21; Void (for Doris) 6:37; First Shard 1:50; Broken Silence 6:34; Second Shard 1:12; Ithaca 8:47; Zinc 3:32; Third Shard 2:42; Unfolding 3:55; Zig Zag 10:08; Klaglied 4:47.

Personnel

Barry Guy: Bass Marilyn Crispell: Piano Paul Lytton: Percussion

Album information

Title: Ithaca | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Intakt Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

Shapeshifters
Reuter / Motzer / Grohowski
Tales From The Jacquard
Julian Siegel Jazz Orchestra
Dreamer
Pamai Chirdkiatisak
Music Room 1985
Wayne Krantz

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.