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Crispell, Marilyn/David Rothenberg: One Dark Night I Left My Silent House

Pianist Marilyn Crispell and clarinetist David Rothenberg have been performing live together since 2004 but they met a long time before that in the early 80s. One Dark Night I Left My Silent House was released June 22, 2010 and is the duo's first album together.

The two met when Rothenberg was apparently asleep under a piano at Karl Berger's Creative Music Studio when he heard "amazing music" right over his head. According to Rothenberg he just sat there and let her play. The two talked about recording together and finally this year has the pair teaming up to produce their brand new album One Dark Night I Left My Silent House.

This is a mellow album of avant-garde jazz the pair should be quite proud of. The musicianship is excellent but it does take time to grow. This is not music that will come to you immediately and a little work is required on the part of the listener. Besides piano, Crispell adds percussion and soundboard. According to Rothenberg, Crispell "played an old beat-up piano soundboard wrenched out of an old baby grand several years before. Marilyn said something about wanting to get the away from the keyboard, more into the realm of pure sound." The soundboard does add some interesting percussion-like sounds and demonstrates the musician's imagination.

This is dissonant stuff so don't expect to get it right away but once you get to know it there is a lot to like. Many of these compositions are experimental in nature with a heavy improvisational feel like the bizarre "Grosbeak" where wild bursts of clarinet play alongside Crispell's dissonant piano ramblings. However, it is not all inharmonious. For example, the back to back pieces "Companion: Silence" and "Owl Moon" demonstrates the duo's flair for a pretty melody. However, the music does not let one get too comfortable as the next piece "Grosbeak" features meandering percussion and stellar clarinet work. A special mention must be made of Rothenberg's clarinet play. He has a deep resonating tone, especially when playing the bass clarinet, that is quite easy to listen to, which seems to be in contradiction to the experimental nature of most of these songs.

I can safely recommend One Dark Night I Left My Silent House to anyone who appreciates the more dissonant nature of avant-garde jazz. Another quality release from ECM Records.

Track Listing:
1. Invocation (3:33)
2. Tsering (4:57)
3. The Hawk And The Mouse (6:27)
4. Stay, Stray (4:57)
5. What Birds Sing (2:17)
6. Companion: Silence (3:27)
7. Owl Moon (6:58)
8. Still Life With Woodpeckers (4:18)
9. Grosbeak (4:42)
10. The Way Of The Pure Sound (5:52)
11. Motmot (3:45)
12. Snow Suddenly Stopping Without Notice (6:48)
13. Evocation (4:20)

Added: September 5th 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artists Official Site
Hits: 1866
Language: english

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