Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Gary Peacock/Marilyn Crispell: Azure

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Pianist Marilyn Crispell and bassist Gary Peacock have performed often as a duo and played together in other settings, including the trio with Paul Motian responsible for the ECM gems Amaryllis and Nothing Ever Was, Anyway. But Azure is their first duo album. While there’s nothing surprising about how gracefully attuned to each other they are here, the intuitive power they achieve in this intimate setting is still striking. So is the range of moods and emotions that eloquently unfold.

Like Amaryllis, Azure combines composed works and songs improvised in the studio. Crispell’s edgy “Patterns,” essentially a piano solo with double-bass framing, strongly contrasts with her tender, openly melodic “Waltz After David M.” On “Blue,” Crispell improvises impulsive, blues-tinged phrases over Peacock’s alternately skipping and bluntly assertive tones, whereas the duo engages in thoughtful dialogue-like exchanges on “Leapfrog.” On his composition “Puppets,” Peacock plays an extended arco solo. Each artist performs one piece unaccompanied.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published