228

Myra Melford: Above Blue / The Same River, Twice

Robert Spencer By

Sign in to view read count
Myra Melford's piano is a welter of extraordinary activity, although unlike some other players with her power, even when her playing is at its most furious it always seems to be melodically, not percussively, rooted. She is once again surrounded on this disc by cutting-edge modern jazz players, especially trumpeter Dave Douglas and reedman Chris Speed. Erik Friedlander's cello, in conjunction with the drums of Michael Sarin, lends a lightness to the rhythm. This group navigates Melford's rhythmically tenuous and complex ensemble passages with notable aplomb.

The music is always excellent, albeit somewhat hard to classify: Melford draws from the spectrum of the jazz tradition to create something utterly new. Its emotional range is breathtaking and the virtuosity of the performers is tremendous. Just to take one track as an example, "A White Flower Grows in the Darkness" is full of stops and starts, dynamic variations, emotional modulations, musical resonances ranging from the Orient to Monk, and much much more. What's most impressive is how finely crafted this music is, while at the same time leaving so much space for each instrumentalist to display his creativity to the utmost.

Recommended.


Personnel:

Myra Melford, p; Dave Douglas, tpt; Chris Speed, ts, cl; Erik Friedlander, cel; Michael Sarin, d.

Track listing: Two But Live / A White Flower Grows in the Quietness / Yet Can Spring (for Don Pullen) / Here is Only Moment / Above Blue / Be Melting Snow / Through Storm's Embrace / Still in After's Shadow.

Title: Above Blue / The Same River, Twice | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Arabesque Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Moment Frozen CD/LP/Track Review Moment Frozen
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Minor Step CD/LP/Track Review Minor Step
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 19, 2017
Read A Meeting Of Spirits CD/LP/Track Review A Meeting Of Spirits
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2017
Read First Light CD/LP/Track Review First Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "Soul Garden" CD/LP/Track Review Soul Garden
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "Uncharted Waters" CD/LP/Track Review Uncharted Waters
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 11, 2017
Read "Mata Hati" CD/LP/Track Review Mata Hati
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "Live At Jazzhus Montmartre" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Jazzhus Montmartre
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 31, 2017
Read "Black Focus" CD/LP/Track Review Black Focus
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: July 23, 2017
Read "Just Get In" CD/LP/Track Review Just Get In
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.