Album: Marilyn Crispell, Vignettes (ECM)

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The Independent Culture

This intensely contemplative solo suite of 17 pieces by the 61-year-old Philly-born pianist is resolutely uningratiating but ultimately very rewarding.

Indeed, some of the melodies are so limpidly beautiful (especially the closing sequence from "Ballade" to "Little Song for My Father") that if the sound was pimped up rather than dried down, they could become Jarrett-style kitchen hits. The opening "Vignette" chimes with Cageian overtones. Six further, often oblique, miniatures intersect eight longer originals and two covers, one a tune by Arve Henriksen.