All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
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.
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.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.