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Melford's, Myra Snowy Egret (w/ Miles / Ellman / Takeishi / Sorey): The Other Side Of Air (Firehouse 12 Records)

Taking the reigns as composer, performer and bandleader, New York pianist Myra Melford's exceptional quintet Snowy Egret, with Ron Miles on cornet, Liberty Ellman on guitar, Stomu Takeishi on acoustic bass guitar, and Tyshawn Sorey on drums, present a brilliant album of creative jazz, with lyrical grooves and commanding soloing, a great and thoroughly modern album.
 

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product information:


UPC: 0843563106259

Label: Firehouse 12 Records
Catalog ID: FH12-04-01-029
Squidco Product Code: 26623

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded October 14th and 15th, 2017, by Nick Lloyd.


Personnel:

Myra Melford-piano

Ron Miles-cornet

Liberty Ellman-guitar

Stomu Takeishi-acoustic bass guitar

Tyshawn Sorey-drums

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Artist Biographies:

"For pianist, composer and Guggenheim fellow Myra Melford, the personal and the poetic have always been intimately and deeply connected. Raised outside Chicago in a house designed by the renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Melford grew up literally surrounded by art. Where most of us find the beauty in our childhood homes through the memories and associations we make within its four walls, Melford saw early on that aesthetic expression could both be built from and be a structure for profound emotions.

Over the course of a career spanning more than two decades, Melford has taken that lesson to heart, crafting a singular sound world that harmonizes the intricate and the expressive, the meditative and the assertive, the cerebral and the playful. Drawing inspiration from a vast spectrum of cultural and spiritual traditions and artistic disciplines, she has found a "spark of recognition" in sources as diverse as the writings of the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi and the Uruguayan journalist Eduardo Galeano; the wisdom of Zen Buddhism and the Huichol Indians of Mexico; and the music of mentors like Jaki Byard, Don Pullen, and Henry Threadgill.

The latest incarnation of this ever-evolving cross-disciplinary dialogue is Language of Dreams, which will premiere in November 2013 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The multi-media work is inspired by Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano's Memory of Fire trilogy, a history of the Americas told through indigenous myths and the accounts of European colonizers. The piece will combine music for Melford's quintet Snowy Egret with narration by a multi-lingual actor, dance by Los Angeles-based choreographer Oguri, and video by Bay Area filmmaker David Szlasa.

While Language of Dreams is her most ambitious project to date, it is not the first time that Melford has constructed a piece from such a wealth of disciplines. In 2006, the Walker Arts Center premiered Knock on the Sky, a piece inspired by Albert Camus' essay "The Myth of Sisyphus" and Kobo Abe's novel Woman in the Dunes, in which Melford collaborated with New York City-based choreographer/dancer Dawn Akemi Saito and Austrian architect Michael Haberz.

Snowy Egret, Melford's latest working group, made its debut in 2012. The quintet comprises some of creative music's most inventive and individual voices: trumpeter Ron Miles, guitarist Liberty Ellman, bassist Stomu Takeishi, and drummer Tyshawn Sorey. Melford's spacious, contemplative, exploratory compositions have long attracted and almost demanded such forward-thinking artists. Her past ensembles have included Be Bread, with Cuong Vu, Ben Goldberg, Brandon Ross, Stomu Takeishi, and Matt Wilson; The Same River, Twice, with Dave Douglas, Chris Speed, Erik Friedlander, and Michael Sarin; Crush, with Takeishi, Vu, and Kenny Wolleson.

Melford also currently is one-third of the collective Trio M with bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Matt Wilson; their most recent CD, The Guest House, was one of 2012's most acclaimed releases. She also performs in the duo ::Dialogue:: with clarinetist Ben Goldberg and will release her first solo album in October 2013, a collection of work inspired by the paintings of the late visual artist Don Reich.

Melford's musical evolution has long run in parallel with her spiritual search, a personal journey that has led her to Aikido, Siddha Yoga, and the wisdom traditions of the Huichol people of Mexico's central highlands. Sonically, that quest is expressed via her wide-ranging palette, which expands from the piano to the harmonium and electronic keyboards or to amplifying barely audible sounds in the piano's interior. Her playing can build from the blissful and lyrical to the intense and angular, with accents from Indian, African, Cuban and Middle Eastern musics or the cerebral abstraction of European and American jazz and classical experimentalism.

While Melford's music continually reaches toward a state of transcendence, it still remains deeply rooted in the blues traditions she heard growing up in the Chicago area. In 1978, she first encountered violinist Leroy Jenkins, her introduction to the AACM, whose boundary-free, adventurous approach to jazz remains an influence. She would go on to study with Jenkins, together forming the collective trio Equal Interest with multi­reedist Joseph Jarman in 1997.

Melford moved to the east coast in 1982 and began performing in New York City's thriving Downtown scene, making her recorded debut as a leader in 1990; she has since released more than twenty albums as a leader or co-leader and appeared on more than 40 releases as a side-person. In 2000, she spent a year in North India on a Fulbright scholarship, immersing herself in the region's classical, devotional, and folk music. Melford relocated to the west coast in 2004, joining the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley as an associate professor of contemporary improvised music. There, she engages students in the theory and practice of improvisation, employing diverse creative strategies.

Her work has earned Melford some of the highest accolades in her field. In 2013 alone, she was named a Guggenheim Fellow and received the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's Performing Artist Award and a Doris Duke Residency to Build Demand for the Arts for her efforts to re-imagine the jazz program at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She was also the winner of the 2012 Alpert Award in the Arts for Music. She has been honored numerous times in DownBeat's Critics Poll since 1991 and was nominated by the Jazz Journalists Association as Pianist of the Year in 2008 and 2009 and Composer of the Year in 2004."

-Myra Melford Website (http://www.myramelford.com/content/page/display/slug/biography)
12/8/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"A resident of Denver since he was 11, he began playing the trumpet seriously in junior high school and studied music at the University of Denver (1981-1985) and the Manhattan School of Music (1986). In addition to local gigs, Miles visited Italy in the summer of 1992 with the play Sophisticated Ladies and was a member of the Mercer Ellington Orchestra for a couple years. He played frequently with Bill Frisell during 1994-1995, also recording with the guitarist, and worked as assistant professor of music at Denver's Metropolitan Stage College. Ron Miles has recorded for Prolific (1986) and Capri (1990), as well as several advanced sets for Gramavision."-Scott Yanow

-All Music/MySpace (https://myspace.com/ronmilesmusic/bio)
12/8/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Based in Brooklyn New York, guitarist / composer Liberty Ellman has performed and or recorded with a host of stand out creative artists including: Joe Lovano, Myra Melford, Wadada Leo Smith, Butch Morris, Vijay Iyer, Steve Lehman, Greg Osby, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Nels Cline, Somi, Matana Roberts, Ledisi, Michele Rosewoman, Adam Rudolph, Josh Roseman, Barney McAll, Okkyung Lee, Steven Bernstein, Ben Goldberg and John Zorn. In 2014 Ellman worked with Jason Moran on Luanda Kinshasa, a video installation by visionary filmmaker Stan Douglas.

Mr. Ellman is perhaps best known for his long tenure in Henry Threadgill's groundbreaking ensemble, Zooid. The group has recorded several critically lauded albums. Their most recent recording "In For A Penny, In For A Pound" earned a Pulitzer prize for Mr. Threadgill. In addition to playing guitar, Mr. Ellman is credited as producer and mixing engineer on that recording. He has mixed and mastered many other recordings as well, including Gregory Porter's "Be Good," which was nominated for a Grammy.

Ellman has released 4 of his own critically acclaimed albums: Orthodoxy, Tactiles, Ophiuchus Butterfly, and 2015's Radiate on Pi Recordings. His compositional style has been described as "At once highly controlled and recklessly inventive," and the Wall Street Journal said: "Ellman, along with his peers, is helping to define post millennial jazz." Voted #1 Rising Star Guitarist in the 2016 Downbeat Critics Poll, he was also honored in the 2015 Jazz Times expanded critics poll, as one of the four guitarists of the year alongside Bill Frisell, John Scofield and Julian Lage.

Liberty Ellman has also worked beyond the jazz world: hip hop artists Midnight Voices, and The Coup, dance producer DJ Joe Claussell, and worked on remixes of N'Dea Davenport, Chico Freeman, Ann Dyer, Ayo and others. He also made an appearance on the Grammy nominated Groove Collective record, People People Music Music."

-Liberty Ellman Website (http://www.libertyellman.com/bio/)
12/8/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Stomu Takeishi (born 1964, in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan) is a Japanese jazz bass player. He generally plays fretless five-string electric bass guitar, as well as a Klein five-string acoustic bass guitar. He often uses looping or other electronic techniques to enhance the sound of his instrument.

Takeishi began as a koto player. He came to the United States in 1983 to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. After completing his degree in 1986, he moved to Manhattan to continue his studies at The New School. He has lived in New York City ever since.

In the 1990s he began to achieve prominence as an innovative New York jazz bass player, and critics have noted both his adventurous playing and sensitivity to sound and timbre. He has played in many international jazz festivals and often performs at major venues in New York, the United States, and Europe.

He has performed and/or recorded with Don Cherry, Henry Threadgill, Butch Morris, Dave Liebman, Randy Brecker, Wynton Marsalis, Paul Motian, Myra Melford, Cuong Vu, Badal Roy, David Tronzo, Erik Friedlander, Satoko Fujii, Laszlo Gardony, Ahmad Mansour and Andy Laster.

In Downbeat's 57th Critics Poll in 2009, Stomu was the poll winner in the category of Electric Bass, Rising Star.

He has been performing all over Mexico with MOLE (Hernan Hecht at drums, Mark Aanderud at piano.)"

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stomu_Takeishi)
12/8/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Tyshawn Sorey (born July 8, 1980 in Newark, New Jersey) is an American musician and composer who plays drum set, percussion, trombone and piano.

Since graduating from William Paterson University, Sorey has been a sought-after musician in many different musical idioms. He is both a performer and composer, and has had works reviewed in The Wire, The New York Times, The Village Voice, Modern Drummer and Down Beat. In August 2009, Sorey was given the opportunity to curate a month of performances at the Stone, a New York performance space owned by John Zorn. He was selected as an Other Minds 17 (2012).

Sorey recently completed a Master of Arts in composition at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. In the fall of 2011, he began pursuing doctoral work in composition at Columbia University.

To date, Sorey has released four albums as a leader: That/Not (2007, Firehouse 12 Records), Koan (2009, 482 Music), Oblique (2011, Pi Recordings) and Alloy (2014, Pi Recordings). He has recorded or performed with musicians including Wadada Leo Smith, Steve Coleman, Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Steve Lehman, Joey Baron, Muhal Richard Abrams, Pete Robbins, Vijay Iyer, Dave Douglas, Butch Morris and Sylvie Courvoisier, among many others."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyshawn_Sorey)
12/8/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:


1. Motion Stop Frame 6:56

2. City of Illusion 8:39

3. Attic 9:29

4. Chorale 4:02

5. Small Thoughts 5:42

6. The Other Side of Air I 3:07

7. The Other Side of Air II 8:39

8. Living Music 10:09

9. Dried Print on Cardboard 4:42

10. Turn & Coda 4:40
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Bay Area pianist Myra Melford on whom the New Yorker called "a stalwart of the new on jazz movement" on has spent the last three decades making brilliant original music, in equal parts challenging and engaging. She has explored an array of formats, from dynamic solo on piano recitals to deeply interactive small groups and even the swinging grandeur of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. But it's her quintet Snowy Egret that best defines her artistry in 2018: "I really feel like it's the vehicle that expresses where I am as a composer, performer and bandleader right now," she says.

Premiering live in 2012, with roots that reach back to the mid on '90s, Snowy Egret features Melford alongside four of the most compelling musicians currently working in jazz and the avant on garde: Ron Miles (cornet), Liberty Ellman (guitar), Stomu Takeishi (acoustic bass guitar) and Tyshawn Sorey (drums). The Other Side of Air follows on Snowy Egret's self on titled Enja/Yellowbird debut, released three years ago to rave reviews."-Firehouse 12



"When a smart musical original with a Guggenheim award and a raft of international poll-winnings to her credit calls a band something as fanciful as Snowy Egret, you suspect that it wasn't out of sheer caprice. Considering the Bay Area composer/pianist Myra Melford's music can turn from beguiling themes and inviting swing to dissonances and jagged anti-grooves in a blink, a snowy egret feels like too graceful and ghostly a creature to fit. But Wikipedia observes that snowy egrets (familiar sights in Melford's California) "feed while standing, walking, running, or hopping". At that, it all makes sense.

Melford, a pianist fascinated by improvisation from childhood, was drawn toward such key 1980s figures of the African American jazz avant garde as Anthony Braxton and Henry Threadgill, who showed her a world of new compositional principles often investigated by improv virtuosi just as happy with no structures at all. Those experiences (and a technique influenced by Cecil Tayloresque Charles Mingus pianist Don Pullen) has guided a true original's spirit in Melford for over 25 years. The Other Side of Air, featuring sometime Bill Frisell partner Ron Miles on cornet and the articulate Liberty Ellman on guitar, is a musical slideshow of ducking-and-diving trumpet/guitar themes that the leader's crisp piano rejoinders snap at the heels of, jostling improvised polyphonies, wistful, faintly Keith Jarrett-like piano meditations turning to brittle free-improv and percussive chord-themes that become bright, hoppy tunes. Visionary drummer Tyshawn Sorey is a vital force, Ellman's lissom long lines and scurrying chords are constantly fresh, and the gentlest of closing codas reveals a complex venture with a shapely story arc, despite so many of its elements being left to chance. Melford always knows where she's headed, but she doesn't need to keep talented partners on a tight leash to get there."-The Guardian UK (US edition)

Also available on vinyl LP.
Get additional information at The Guardian, UK
Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Quintet Recordings
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
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