actuellecd The New & Avant-garde Music Store


Dolf Mulder, Vital, no. 418, April 6, 2004

Marilyn Lerner (Montréal, 1957) is pianist and composer and has been active in the Canadian scene for the past twenty years. She has performed with a very mixed company of musicians, like Paquito D’Riverera, Tito Puente, Jon Faddis, Steve Lacy, Christian Escoude, Jane Bunnett, Vinny Golia, etc. Her jazz work includes the solo cd Miss Overboard and Birds are Returning - Marilyn Lerner in Cuba. Also she produced a series of audio art pieces using computer technology. For the last few years she formed a duo with bass clarinet player Lori Freedman, named Queen Mab. Together they try to build bridges between new music and jazz. The last ten years she made a lot of recordings and wrote music for film, television, theatre, etc. All this does not have to imply that you ever heard of her before. In my case Luminance is a first encounter. What may not surprise us of someone with such a reputation and experience, is the virtuosic playing that illustrates her extensive knowledge of grammar and repertoire. She is also a very capable and original composer and improvisor. What is more, her music has also depth and is passionate. A great variety of techniques, idioms, color, moods, etc. pass by. In each track she investigates different aspects of music. In many pieces she is into timbral possibilities. In other pieces melodic and harmonic ideas are investigated. In La boxe, Glovys and other pieces rhythmic excursions are dominant. Besides, in one piece, like Plucky, she uses many extented techniques, making the piano sound like the prepared piano of John Cage. Whereas in other pieces she limits herself to the keys of the piano. If the idea of a solo piano cd is frightening you, let me assure you that you won’t be bored by this one. It’s a very personal work on the borders of new music and jazz by a talented player and improvisor. By the way, an interesting aspect of this release is the recording technique. For each track is indicated what microphone is used and where it is placed.

It’s a very personal work on the borders of new music and jazz by a talented player and improvisor.