Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Above Blue / Same River Twice
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop
Myra Melford's second outing with her quintet the Same River, Twice is an impressive statement of both her stylistic range and her generosity as a bandleader. The pianist embraces the jazz avant-garde, but she also knows t... more »
Myra Melford's second outing with her quintet the Same River, Twice is an impressive statement of both her stylistic range and her generosity as a bandleader. The pianist embraces the jazz avant-garde, but she also knows the value of a catchy tune. "Be Melting Snow" begins with a nimble unison articulation of an air that Chick Corea would doubtless like to call his own, then slips into a stormy, percussive piano solo that resolves into a sweet ballad statement by trumpeter Dave Douglas. Melford's writing is ambitiously varied, but also digestibly sequential. The title suite begins with a lush, near-classical exchange between Melford and Erik Friedlander's plucked cello, then launches into a gleeful two-horn steeplechase after a theme reminiscent of those Eastern European motifs that Douglas plays in his own Tiny Bell Trio. Friedlander returns to take a bluesy bowed solo that morphs into a Latin-tinged polyphony enlivened by Chris Speed's clarinet, which winds ribbons around yet another splendid trumpet solo before the composition's unabashedly melodramatic resolution. --Bill Meyer
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(5 out of 5 stars)
"when you have well conceived compositions that direct the improvisations. The improvisations become purposeful and integrated with the moods and style of the compostion, which is superior to the "same changes, different chorus" mentatlity.For all of his compositional skill, that is the problem with Wynton Marsalis's ensembles. Wynton writes clever and crafty passages, but when they come to the improvisation, nothing is retained from what was established by the composition, except the chord changes as usual. It is as if they were playing with Jamey Aebersold records.Fortunately, we have Myra Melford."
email@example.com | Portland, OR | 02/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like her Same River Twice bandmate Dave Douglas, Melford's compositions walk the line between structure and free with a wonderful intensity. For me, Melford is closer to a genre straddler like Don Pullen than she is to Cecil Taylor. Like that late pianist who combined the density of Taylor's explorations with the blues, Melford takes the free tradition and adds a bit of Zen synchronicity to her harmonic and rhythmic shakeups. If you like this, be sure to check out Melford's collaboration with Joseph Jarman and Leroy Jenkins in the group Equal Interest."
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Paul Carr | Silver Spring, MD United States | 06/04/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Is it just me, or are women taking over Jazz? Maybe it's about time. Myra Melford is a formidable pianist with interesting ideas. Like a TRUE Jazz player, she understands the tradition without apeing it. She has worked with some greats, including Henry Threadgill, and you can hear his influence on her work. I also hear a fair bit of Cecil Taylor in her playing, but her style is more lyrical and less percussive, and I dare say she has better chops than the old master.I like her as a clever composer and a leader as well as a pianist, and the other players on this eclectic album acquit themselves very well, but it is principally for the beautiful flow of her playing that I listen to it. That said, she does a fine job of balancing improvisation and structure, and that is non trivial (John Zorn does this extremely well, as does Threadgill), and so the ensemble aspects of this album are well worth a listen."