A wonderful performance of profound beauty and elegance last night by Marilyn Crispell at the Chapel Performance Space in Wallingford.
Famously turned on to jazz through the music of John Coltrane, pianist Marilyn Crispell was relatively unknown in 1978 when multi-instrumentalist and composer Anthony Braxton happened to hear her. Immediately awed by her capabilities, Braxton soon made Crispell his principal pianist for well over 10 years – including in his great ’80s quartet featuring Mark Dresser and Gerry Hemingway. With Braxton, Crispell performed some of the most complex music of the time with extraordinary precision, power, and grace, establishing herself as one of the most virtuosic and fiercely-expressive pianists around.
More recently, Crispell has developed an increasingly romantic and jazz-influenced vocabulary. A string of successful albums for ECM, including the triumphant Nothing Ever Was, Anyway: The Music of Annette Peacock (1997), debuted her trio of Gary Peacock and Paul Motian. Almost immediately the group was widely regarded as among the most significant piano trios since Bill Evans, Scott LaFaro, and Paul Motian first convened. Crispell’s most recent effort, a solo disc called Vignettes, presents her at her most effusive, performing both compositions and free improvisations, and producing beautiful performances.
Click here for the complete schedule for the rest of the upcoming shows at the 2008 Earshot Jazz Festival