Myra Melford augments her to a quartet here with either trumpet or guitar, and the range of the group is augmented in turn by her use of harmonium and the use of electronics by both trumpeter Cuong Vu and bassist Stomu Takeishi. The resulting music is a mixed affair, marked by a certain anonymous quality that often makes its presence felt.
The programme starts promisingly enough with "Equal Grace, where the sustenance of a mood shows how well the group with Vu can deal with the matter of dynamics; even in the up-tempo section of the piece, there is a reflective quality, and it offers a tantalising glimpse of what might happen if Vu and the Melford trio work together in the future.
On "Luck Shifts, Melford and guitarist Brandon Ross echo the kind of relationship that Paul Bley and Bill Frisell have had in the past, but the introspection here could be too much for a lot of tastes. The two musicians don't seem to match the heights of those two masters' intuitive grasp of each other's work, and before too long a certain anonymity sets in.
It's clear on the likes of "Yellow Are Crowds Of Flowers, II that the Melford trio has reached some rarefied stage of musical understanding; Melford proves that she can work that Cecil Taylor space with the best of them, and this point might just bring to light precisely what keeps this disc from being something exceptional. Both the trio and the guests seem too often to edge towards an unstimulating form of politeness; opting for a more expansive approach would perhaps have made for more engaging music. The results as they stand, however, are not only a mixed affair but also a frustrating listen.
Equal Grace; Luck Shifts; Fear Slips Behind; To The Roof; Yellow Are Crowds Of Flowers, II; The Image OF Your Body; Be Bread; If You
Myra Melford: piano, harmonium; Stomu Takeishi: electric and acoustic bass guitar,
electronics; Elliott Humberto Kavee: Drums; Brandon Ross: electric guitar, banjo, voice
(2,4,6,7,8,10); Cuong Vu: trumpet, electronics (1,3,5,9).
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