All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

6

Myra Melford Trio: Alive In The House Of Saints Part 1

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Back in 1993, pianist Myra Melford announced herself on the international stage with Alive In The House Of Saints and it still constitutes exhilarating listening. It was the third and, as it happened, last album by her trio completed by bassist Lindsey Horner and drummer Reggie Nicholson, following a brace of recordings on the Enemy imprint (although she did supplement the line up with trumpeter Dave Douglas and reedman Marty Ehrlich for Even The Sounds Shine (Hatology, 1995). Originally issued as a single CD, further live material was added for release as a double disc set in 2001, but Hatology is now making the date available again in two parts.

While the trio recognizably inhabits the tradition, Melford extends and subverts the genre through her adventurous compositions in a foretaste of what was to come with her bands such as Same River Twice, Be Bread and Snowy Egret. She also distinguishes herself through a notable rhythmic impulse, blues-tinged extemporizations and the capacity to take matters outside. Horner provides a solid foundation, holding down vamps in a way that they don't overstay their welcome, and proposing a pulse-based lyricism when in the spotlight. Nicholson not only propels but also plays the tunes, recalling Ed Blackwell as he extrapolates upon them during his features.

Each track defeats expectations. The dashing "Evening Might Still" offers a lively starter, hewing closest to what might be anticipated from the instrumentation. But as the piece opens out Melford creates tension with a repeated barely changing figure, only to resolve it with rolling aching outbursts that bring a nod of recognition. Nicholson introduces the scuttling theme of "Now & Now 1" with a gentle tattoo, before the pianist ends a flowing solo by fragmenting her lines into jabbing chords and flailing runs over a freer impetus.

The drummer enjoys a distinctive break on the first stalking, then exultant "Between Now & Then," animating a press roll from near inaudibility to a lurching gait which presages jazzy stretches, tango-like inflections and more offgrid mayhem. But it's the closing "Parts I & II Frank Lloyd Wright Goes West To Rest" which pushes the envelope most. It begins with a spasmodic stagger before unfolding into bustling ensemble interplay, modulated by bursts of concentrated furor.

Melford shines on a passage of cleanly articulated hyper speed stabbing which evokes her mentor Don Pullen at his most boisterous. Further developments lead into a more understated second section which investigates timbre and tone color, and confirms just how well-integrated this unit was across the whole spectrum.

Track Listing: Evening Might Still; Now & Now 1; Between Now & Then; Parts I & II Frank Lloyd Wright Goes West To Rest.

Personnel: Myra Melford: piano; Lindsey Horner: bass; Reggie Nicholson: drums.

Title: Alive In The House Of Saints Part 1 | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Hatology

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
M Z M

M Z M

Infrequent Seams
2018

buy
Dialogue

Dialogue

Bag Production Records
2016

buy
Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret

Enja Records
2015

buy
Life Carries Me This Way

Life Carries Me This...

Firehouse 12 Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read with whom you can be who you are CD/LP/Track Review
with whom you can be who you are
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Inner Core CD/LP/Track Review
Inner Core
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Dirigo Rataplan II CD/LP/Track Review
Dirigo Rataplan II
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 21, 2018
Read The Window CD/LP/Track Review
The Window
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Mønk CD/LP/Track Review
Mønk
by Chris May
Published: September 20, 2018
Read The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2018
Read "Legacy: Neil Slater at North Texas" CD/LP/Track Review Legacy: Neil Slater at North Texas
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 30, 2017
Read "Murals" CD/LP/Track Review Murals
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 20, 2018
Read "Glassbath" CD/LP/Track Review Glassbath
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 6, 2018
Read "In Stride" CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: March 26, 2018
Read "In Denmark I Was Born" CD/LP/Track Review In Denmark I Was Born
by Gareth Thompson
Published: March 18, 2018
Read "Vista" CD/LP/Track Review Vista
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 29, 2018