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Marilyn Crispell: Open to collaboration

Marilyn Crispell (photo: Hyou Vielz)
Marilyn Crispell (photo: Hyou Vielz)

Anyone with a cursory familiarity with the music of Marilyn Crispell and the aesthetics of Manfred Eicher is bound to experience at least a moment of cognitive dissonance at the idea of the uncompromising avant garde pianist recording for ECM. What common ground could Crispell and the intensely focused founder of the Munich-based label possibly find, allowing the pianist an unprecedented forum for her often riveting music, and giving Eicher an album that would be consonant with the bulk of the label’s output?

They found extremely fertile terrain in the music of Annette Peacock, who, despite making several intriguing albums featuring her voice, piano, and compositions, remains best known as the writer of many of the most arresting items in pianist Paul Bley’s discography. Peacock has a rare ability to cut to the emotional quick of the material within just a few notes, to extract a graceful lyricism from the most irregular, fragmentary line and to make silences scream and beckon.

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