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It was the sound of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme 23 years ago that made Marilyn Crispell turn from her New England Conservatory background of Bach and Beethoven and take up improvisation. The pianist has long cited the likes of ‘Trane, Cecil Taylor, and Anthony Braxton as heroes, and her records have lived up to her influences; they are dense, dissonant, and uncompromising. Crispell has also been inspired by a fellow Woodstock, N.Y., resident, reclusive jazz composer Annette Peacock, who writes “environments” rather than compositions. Peacock’s spacious balladry forces Crispell to call upon the melodicism and discipline of her classical background in the two-disc tribute, Nothing ever was, anyway: Music of Annette Peacock, one of the most beautiful records in recent memory, yet still an intensely complex one. Along with double-bassist Gary Peacock (Annette’s ex) and drummer Paul Motian, Crispell creates an intensely lyrical world of suspended sound. She taps out notes and leaves them hanging in the air, fading like withdrawing light. Motian’s drums lightly crash and titter in quietly spirited jousts with the keyboard, while Peacock’s bass rolls and hums across the piano and percussion’s vast expanses like clouds through the sky. Over the course of 85 minutes, the trio’s silences are as controlled as its notes, and that airiness allows immediate access to the intricate improvising. Crispell’s interpretations are definitive treatments of Peacock’s wondrous works; the quiet lady says so herself.Christopher Porter