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Album Review

In 2012, John Zorn's Tzadik label hosted something like a School of Anthony Braxton reunion, as pianist Marilyn Crispell, bassist Mark Dresser, and drummer Gerry Hemingway revisited some of the life-transforming lessons learned during their adventures with the unparalleled composer, philosopher, and multi-instrumentalist during the '80s. Of the five realizations based within Braxton's numerically titled works, two follow his tendency to combine more than one formula in succession, as in the combined compositions "108C/110/69Q." Braxton has explained that "Composition 23C" is an additive, repetitive structure for exploration dynamics and extended interpretation that was composed in 1973. Designed to continually surprise and enrich both instrumentalists and listeners, "23C" "is dedicated to the great athlete Willie Mays. "Composition 40N," which materializes here in combination with "40B," is a drone platform for extended improvisation that was composed in the Black Forest of Western Germany during the spring of 1975. Braxton aligns "40N" with African as well as Indian musical traditions, comparing it with the raga as a sensitive music universe that achieves peace and understanding as a basis from which to expand and grow. "40N," he says, is "a direct statement about serious matters" which was conceived in response to the music of John Coltrane, Joseph Jarman, and Kalaparusha Difda. It reflects the composer's "awareness of modalism and the power of one note." The trio of Hemingway, Dresser, and Crispell achieves and sustains an empowered communion while celebrating Braxton's highly advanced formulae for collective improvisation. Comparisons can and should be drawn with the album Kevin Norton & Haewon Min Play the Music of Anthony Braxton. Parallels also exist with the "University of Ornette Coleman" band Old and New Dreams, as well as Sphere, the group whose members shared the honor of having worked with Thelonious Sphere Monk. In each unit, the archetypal changes wrought by a great and influential composer are expanded upon by artists whose close involvement made it possible to further the ideas and methodology of the masters.


Born: 30 March 1947 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the finest modern jazz pianists, Marilyn Crispell first emerged as an exciting, adventurous soloist and composer on the free scene in the early '80s. She was a member of the Anthony Braxton Quartet during the '80s and '90s, and also led a number of her own dates (mostly for Leo and Music & Arts) during this period. Although not as widely acclaimed as she deserves to be, Crispell...
Full bio
Play Braxton, Marilyn Crispell
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 19 June 2012

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