Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Raymond MacDonald and Marilyn Crispell, Parallel Moments

From the somewhat obscure British label Babel Label comes a fine series of improvised duets between Scottish saxophonist Raymond MacDonald and American pianist Marilyn Crispell, Parallel Moments (Babel Label BDV 13125).

It's a dynamic encounter with avant jazz turbulence, new music explorations and a testifying lyric sensibility, depending on the piece. Both artists acquit themselves well on both the individual and the interactive levels.

There are times when one hears a hint of an influential rechanneling of Anthony Braxton in MacDonald's more acerbic moments, but other times he seems to be searching and finding his own personal line-creating, sound-poetic personality. That he finds a center and melds it with Marilyn's very personal modern piano makes all this music worthwhile.

Marilyn is never one to be pinned down. She comes across in this set with excellent inventiveness and pianistic thrust.

A far-ranging set of variations on music making can be had here. All is well-conceived and can be heard for your musical profit and edification. MacDonald and Crispell come through with a winner!

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