Marilyn Crispell

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
Krentz Ratings:
Spirit Music (1981), 7.5/10
Rhythms Hung in Undrawn Sky (1985), 7/10
Your Ivory Voices Sings (1985), 5/10
Quintet Improvisations (1986), 5/10
Gaia (1987), 5/10
For Coletrane (1987), 5/10
Labyrinths (1987), 7/10
Images (1989), 7/10
The Kitchen Concerts (1989), 5/10
Live in Zurich (1989), 5/10
Live in San Francisco (1989), 5/10
Circles (1990), 5/10
Overlapping Hands (1990), 7/10
Inference (1992), 5/10
Hyperion (1992), 5/10
Cascades (1993), 5/10
Marilyn Crispell and Gerry Hemingway Duo (1993), 5/10
Santuerio (1993), 7.5/10
Destiny (1994), 5/10
Band on the Wall (1994), 5/10
Live at Mills College (1995), 5/10
The Woodstock Concert (1995), 5/10
Contrasts: At Yoshi's (1995), 5/10
Dark Night and Luminous (1995), 5/10
Connecting Spirits (1996), 5/10
Never Was Anyway (1996), 5/10
Red (1999), 7/10
Blue (1999), 7/10
Amaryllis (2000), 5/10
Storyteller (2003), 5/10
The Stone Quartet (2006), 5/10
Geggie Project (2006), 5/10
Phases of the Night (2007), 5/10
One Night I Left My Silent House (2008), 5/10
Affinities (2010), 5/10
Live at Vision Festival (2010), 5/10
Parallel Moments (2010), 5/10
Azure (2011), 5/10
Stolen Moment (2012), 5/10
Tables of Change (2013), 6/10
In Motion (2014), 5/10
Deep Memory (2015), 4/10
Dreamstruck (2018), 5/10
Dream Libretto (2018), 6.5/10

White pianist Marilyn Crispell (1947), who was playing with Anthony Braxton (1978-86), inherited the tradition of jazz pianists who were also bold composers (Thelonious Monk, Paul Bley, Cecil Taylor) and took it to a new level of sensibility and curiosity in the wild trio improvisations of Spirit Music (march 1981), with violinist Billy Bang and drummer John Betsch, in the passionate solo improvisations of Rhythms Hung in Undrawn Sky (may 1983) and of Labyrinths (october 1987), in the cerebral duets with Irene Schweizer of Overlapping Hands (june 1990), in the dramatic quartet counterpoint of Santuerio (may 1993), with violinist Mark Feldman, cellist Hank Roberts and drummer Gerry Hemingway, in the stark duo studies with Italian saxophonist and clarinetist Stefano Maltese of Red (september 1999) and Blue (september 1999). Her focus gradually shifted from sheer extroverted expression of vital energy towards a more balanced and even introverted exploration of sound.

She also highlighted the 26-minute Suite for H.P. Madame on Reggie Workman Ensemble's Images (january 1989), with Jeanne Lee on vocals, Michelle Navazio on guitar, Don Byron on clarinet, Gerry Hemingway on percussion and Reggie Workman on bass.

Minor work of this period (mostly live performances) include: And Your Ivory Voice Sings (march 1985) with drummer Doug James; Quartet Improvisations (december 1986); Gaia (march 1987) with Reggie Workman on bass and Doug James on drums; the solo live For Coltrane (july 1987); The Kitchen Concerts (february 1989) with Mark Dresser on bass and Gerry Hemingway on drums; Live In Zurich (april 1989) with Reggie Workman on bass and Paul Motian on drums; Live In San Francisco (june 1989) with Anthony Braxton; the live Circles (october 1990) with Oliver Lake on alto, Peter Buettner on tenor, Reggie Workman on bass and Gerry Hemingway on drums; Marilyn Crispell & Gerry Hemingway Duo (1992); Inference (june 1992), a live duo with Tim Berne; Hyperion (june 1992) with Peter Brotzmann and Hamid Drake; Cascades (june 1993) with Barry Guy on bass and Gerry Hemingway on drums; Destiny (april 1994) with tenorist Fred Anderson and percussionist Hamid Drake; Band On The Wall (may 1994) with Eddie Prevost on drums; Nothing Ever Was Anyway (september 1996) with Gary Peacock on bass and Paul Motian on drums (and Annette Peacock on cello); Amaryllis (february 2000) with Gary Peacock on bass and Paul Motian on drums.

She also released several live albums: Live At Mills College (january 1995), The Woodstock Concert (april 1995) , Contrasts: Live At Yoshi's (june 1995), Dark Night And Luminous (november 1995) and Connecting Spirits (january 1996).

Best of the latest trios was Storyteller (february 2003) with Mark Helias on bass and Paul Motian on drums.

The Stone Quartet (december 2006) consisted of Joelle Leandre on bass, Roy Campbell on trumpet and Mat Maneri on viola.

Phases of the Night (may 2007) is a trio with Barry Guy, Paul Lytton and Marylin Crispell.

Geggie Project (october 2006 - Ambiances Magnetiques, 2008) is a collaboration with double-bassist John Geggie and drummer Nick Fraser.

One Dark Night I Left My Silent House was a collaboration between Crispell and clarinetist David Rothenberg (march 2008).

Affinities (october 2010) was a collaboration between pianist Marilyn Crispell and drummer Gerry Hemingway (also on vibraphone).

The drumless Stone Quartet's Live At Vision Festival (june 2010) documented a live performance with Mat Maneri (viola), Roy Campbell (trumpet, flutes) and Joelle Léandre (double bass).

Azure (february 2011) documents a collaboration between pianist Marilyn Crispell and bassist Gary Peacock.

Tables Of Changes (may 2013) documents a collaboration between pianist Marilyn Crispell and drummer Gerry Hemingway, notably the 14-minute Windy City.

Stolen Moment (april 2012) was a collaboration between Andrea Centazzo (percussion) and Marilyn Crispell (piano).

Parallel Moments (november 2010) was a collaboration with Raymond MacDonald (alto and soprano saxes).

Creative Music Studio's triple-disc Archive Selections Volume 1 & 2 (Planet Arts) documents sessions by Anthony Braxton, Marilyn Crispell, Kalaparusha, Frederic Rzewski, Lee Konitz, Paul Motian, Don Cherry, Collin Walcott, Nana Vasconcelos, Gerry Hemingway, etc.

In Motion (november 2014) was the trio of Richard Poole (drums), Marilyn Crispell (piano) and Gary Peacock (bass).

The Guy-Crispell-Lytton trio returned with their third collaboration, Deep Memory (may 2015).

Dreamstruck (march 2018) featured Joe Fonda on contrabass and Harvey Sorgen on drums.

Dream Libretto (recorded ? 2018) contains the five-movement requiem Memoria/For Pessa Malka performed by Crispell, Tanya Kalmanovitch (violin) and Richard Teitelbaum (electronics).

The double-disc Parallel Moments Unbroken (december 2013 and june 2014) collects two performances by the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, one featuring an ensemble of 20 musicians and the other one an ensemble of 28 musicians, both including Evan Parker (sax) and Marilyn Crispell (piano).

The Adornment Of Time (october 2018) was a collaboration with drummer Tyshawn Sorey, mainly devoted to The Adornment Of Time.

How To Turn The Moon (september 2019) documents a piano duo with Angelica Sanchez.

Concertoto (november 2012) documents a live perforance by the trio of Marilyn Crispell (piano), Eddie Prévost (drums) and Harrison Smith (saxes and bass clarinet), notably the 55-minute Main.

Crispell also played on Lovano's Trio Tapestry (march 2018) and on Garden Of Expression (november 2019), credited to Trio Tapestry, but all composed by Lovano.

Streams (november 2018) documents a collaboration with Yuma Uesaka (sax and clarinet).

The second album by the trio of Crispell, Joe Fonda (bass) and Harvey Sorgen (drums) was With Grace In Mind (june 2021).

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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