Marilyn Mazur: Celestial Circle

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Marilyn Mazur
LABELS: ECM
WORKS: Celestial Circle
PERFORMER: John Taylor (pno), Josefine Cronholm (voice), Anders Jormin (bass), Marilyn Mazur (perc, voice)
CATALOGUE NO: ECM 276 8056

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In the UK, at least, Marilyn Mazur is probably underrated, arguably underexposed and certainly under discussed, so a new CD is welcome. This quartet was convened for the 2008 Molde Jazz Festival and its relative longevity in a world of ad hoc groupings is understandable. Mazur is a refreshingly complete percussionist who has long since scooped up the idea of jazz drumming in its entirety and stirred it into her polystylistic approach; the effect of this on what could otherwise be just another ECM piano trio with a guest singer is puckishly subversive.

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Taylor is attuned to Mazur’s detailed thinking, responding with (and proposing) provocative melodic fragments and knotty chordal statements, while Cronholm manages to be both assertive and sensitive. Overall, this is a disciplined take on a music, which tends towards the intuitive and abstract; the results (impeccably recorded as is the label’s wont) are highly compelling. Roger Thomas