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Myra Melford: Life Carries Me This Way (2013)

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Myra Melford: Life Carries Me This Way How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

All great artists turn their listeners into voyeurs, allowing them an intimate glimpse into their private thoughts. For pianist Myra Melford
Myra Melford
Myra Melford
b.1957
piano
the invitation has been a long time coming. After twenty-plus years of recording, Life Carries Me This Way is her first solo session.

She has drawn praise for her recent work in the collaborative Trio M with Matt Wilson
Matt Wilson
Matt Wilson
b.1964
drums
and Mark Dresser
Mark Dresser
Mark Dresser
b.1952
bass, acoustic
, her quintet Snowy Egret, the electric-acoustic Be Bread, and a duo project Dialogue with Ben Goldberg
Ben Goldberg
Ben Goldberg

clarinet
. Her past associations have included Dave Douglas
Dave Douglas
Dave Douglas
b.1963
trumpet
, Marty Ehrlich
Marty Ehrlich
Marty Ehrlich
b.1955
reeds
, Henry Threadgill
Henry Threadgill
Henry Threadgill
b.1944
reeds
, and Butch Morris
Butch Morris
Butch Morris
1947 - 2013
cornet
.

The eleven solo pieces presented here testify that indeed her right hand knows exactly what her left hand is doing. The music (how music is composed vs. improvised?) is bright, organized, and nourishing. The disc opens with "Red Lands," dedicated, as the entire record is, to painter Don Reich. She builds upon a lament, ringing notes over her steady bass line that draws attention to her ability to marshal her thoughts both in an orderly manner, and with outward flights of imagination. She can pound-out left hand corpulent notes ("Piano Music"), while simultaneously twinkling energized runs with her right. Melford's facility is on display here, not for egotism, but in the service of the compositions. She contrasts the shimmer of "Barcelona" with the darker, ruminative"Moonless Night." The pianist can build a dense composition like "Curtain," fashioning a wall of thunderous chords that resolve themselves into the tiniest whisper.

Melford is in total control here in command of the piano, the music, and her self expression.


Track Listing: Red Land (For Don Reich); Piano Music; Japanese Music; Attic; Curtain; Moonless Night; Barcelona; Sagrada Family; Still Life.

Personnel: Myra Melford: piano.

Record Label: Firehouse 12 Records

Style: Modern Jazz


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