Friday, August 06, 2004

Marilyn Crispell – Storyteller (ECM, 2004)

This is an endearing album full of quiet and thoughtful trio music with Crispell on piano, Mark Helias on bass and Paul Motian on drums. Each member of the trio contributes compositions to the record. The music is low-key and heartfelt, which may be something of a surprise coming from a musician like Crispell who has been influenced by the likes of Cecil Taylor and spent many years playing in the bands of Anthony Braxton.

The music is quite beautiful and haunting, with each of the performers hanging on every note. The depth of feeling in the music, like a late night mystery is captured beautifully by the ECM engineers, who often come under criticism for the so called "ECM sound." Whatever that sound may be, it is perfectly suited for music like this, where each member of the trio is allowed space to breathe.

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