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Marilyn Mazur’s Future Song — Small Labyrinths (1997) {ECM 1559}

Marilyn Mazur’s Future Song — Small Labyrinths (1997) {ECM 1559}

   Marilyn Mazur’s Future Song — Small Labyrinths 
?   Percussionist Marilyn Mazur, best known for keeping the beat with the Jan Garbarek Group, came into her own with Small Labyrinths, her first for ECM as frontwoman — in this case, of the Future Song project. With characteristic wit and commitment to seeing every gesture through, Mazur leads us on a trek of visions and fantasies. True to the dynamic nature of her art, she begins softly in “A World Of Gates,” caressing the periphery of her assembly and working her way to center with diligence. She blends into “Drum Tunnel,” clicking the tongues of her inner fire on the one hand, on the other adding a touch of icy whimsy via sleigh bells. In “The Electric Cave” a talk box hangs stalactites in code, while in the web of “The Dreamcatcher” we encounter the soothing voice of Aina Kemanis (in a different mode from her experiments with Barre Phillips), who gives fuzzy warmth to “Visions In The Wood” and prays for rain and thunder in “Castle Of Air.” Trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær adds backbone wherever he travels, shrouding the already supernal gamelan drone of “Back To Dreamfog Mountain” with a breath from below. After an interlude of “Creature Talk,” we stumble through the anthemic strains of “See There” into a “Valley Of Fragments.” This explosive aside casts us into an “Enchanted Place,” shattering windows into grains of sand, and those further into molecules, each indeed a small labyrinth harboring the promise of music. “The Holey” is where we end, lost in a book of cries and whispers, out of reach and out of time.
?   Small Labyrinths is no self–enclosed ritual, but rather a diary of open and spirited play. It seeks us out, asks us to stay, and hopes we may join in.
Location: New York, NY
Album release: 1997
Recorded: August 1994 by Bjarne Hansen, at Sun Studio, Copenhagen.
Record Label: ECM
Duration:     48:27
01. A World Of Gates      2:12
02. Drum Tunnel      2:24
03. The Electric Cave      1:43
04. The Dreamcatcher      5:45
05. Visions In The Wood      5:45
06. Back To Dreamfog Mountain      6:03
07. Creature Talk      1:11
08. See There      7:18
09. Valley Of Fragments      1:21
10. Enchanted Place      3:12
11. Castle Of Air      4:20
12. The Holey      7:13
?   Marilyn Mazur — percussion
?   Aina Kemanis — voice
?   Hans Ulrik — saxophones
?   Nils Petter Molvær — trumpet
?   Eivind Aarset — guitar
?   Elvira Plenar — piano, keyboards
?   Klavs Hovman — basses
?   Audun Kleive — drums
?   Produced by Manfred Eicher
?   Engineer: Bjarne Hansen
?   Marilyn Mazur is best known today as the flamboyant percussionist at the heart of the Jan Garbarek Group (Twelve Moons, Visible World), speeding around an ever burgeoning array of multi–ethnic metal, wood and clay instruments. Garbarek: “Marilyn is like the wind. An elemental force.” Prior employers Gil Evans, Wayne Shorter, and Miles Davis have similarly valued her pervasive, penetrating percussion. Marilyn drew up the blueprint for Future Song — an American–Danish–Nowegian–Yugoslavian musical alliance — while working the stadiums with Miles in 1989 and the group has survived with intact personnel for eight years. Mazur says: “The music is intended to be like a living organism, expanding through specific dramatic sequences into more open structures. It represents a wide dynamic spectrum, explores many emotions.” Small Labyrinths is the Danish–American percussionist’s leader–date debut for ECM.
?   “...some of the most beautiful writing next to enjoying the music itself.” — Doug Payne (producer, writer, critic)
?   “...allows wonderful familiarity with the daunting, endless (and endlessly stunning) ECM catalog — and opens up possibilities that may have been missed on previous listening experiences.” — Craig LeHoullier (ECM lover, author, dedicated reader)
Website: http://www.marilynmazur.com/
Label: https://www.ecmrecords.com/

Marilyn Mazur’s Future Song — Small Labyrinths (1997) {ECM 1559}


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