Richard Poole, Marilyn Crispell & Gary Peacock - In Motion
(Intakt CD 264. CD Review by Patrick Hadfield)
Improvised music is often described in terms of a conversation between the musicians. In this case they speak eloquently and emotionally. Pianist Marilyn Crispell and bassist Gary Peacock first played together with Paul Motion in the 1990s, and have both been improvising much longer. Multi-instrumentalist Richard Poole - here playing drums – is an improviser of a similar vintage
Of the ten tracks, nine were freely improvised, the sole exception being Peacock's Gary's Theme. Many of the pieces, such as And Yet, Serakunda and Isle of Nowhere have the feel of fully formed, composed tunes: And Yet sounds like a slow deconstruction of a theme by Thelonious Monk; Serakunda even has a slow, loping swing meted out by Poole's subtle brushwork, with a slow melodic line from Crispell. Isle of Nowhere is another slow, melodic piece which at times hints at Errol Garner's Misty before developing in a freer style.
Other pieces have more of the uncertain exploration one might expect from free improvisation. Dichotomy features some lovely melodic solo bass playing from Peacock, punctuated by energetic percussive outbursts from Crispell and Poole. On the title track, In Motion, there's a lively interplay between the three musicians as the music moves in different directions. Blue Streets Up and Down and Lucid Air both continue the conversation in its more gentle, lyrical form. The album closes as it began, with the soft questioning of Crispell's piano.
Patrick Hadfield lives in Edinburgh, occasionally takes photographs, and sometimes blogs at On the Beat. Twitter: @patrickhadfield.