Marilyn Crispell / Tim Berne

Inference

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An avant-gardist whose playing (even at its most intense) is lyrical, the remarkable pianist Marilyn Crispell was originally influenced by Cecil Taylor but has since carved out her own musical personality. For this particular CD she is teamed with altoist Tim Berne who also has a fresh and lively style. Their six duets (three originals apiece) often have arranged sections that sound like improvisations and vice-versa. Berne's "Inference" is the most memorable track, with sections divided by the main theme and several emotions explored, but all of the performances are well worth hearing. "Bass Voodoo" finds Berne sounding a little like Anthony Braxton, "Sorrow" is quite emotional without being downbeat and "For Alto and Piano II" contrasts the different approaches of the two musicians. This set has plenty of stimulating and unpredictable interplay by the two giants (both of whom sound as if they have large ears). Music & Arts deserves thanks from the jazz world for making these noncommercial sounds available.

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