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Myra Melford: Life Carries Me This Way

Mark Corroto By

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All great artists turn their listeners into voyeurs, allowing them an intimate glimpse into their private thoughts. For pianist Myra Melford 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 and Mark Dresser, her quintet Snowy Egret, the electric-acoustic Be Bread, and a duo project Dialogue with Ben Goldberg. Her past associations have included Dave Douglas, Marty Ehrlich, Henry Threadgill, and Butch Morris.

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: Park Mechanics; Red Beach; Red land (for Don Reich); Piano Music; Japanese Music; Attic; Curtain;Moonless Night; Barcelona; Sagrada Familia; Still Life.

Personnel: Myra Melford: piano.

Title: Life Carries Me This Way | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Firehouse 12 Records

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