The Squid's Ear Magazine


Melford, Myra's Be Bread: The Whole Tree Gone (Firehouse 12 Records)

Pianist and composer Myra Melford's 2nd Be Bread release with Cuong Vu, Bend Goldberg, Brandon Ross, Stomu Takeishi and Matt Wilson, outstanding and distinctive acoustic jazz.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Myra Melford-piano

Cuong Vu-trumpet

Ben Goldberg-clarinet, contra-alto clarinet

Brandon Ross-guitar and soprano guitar

Stomu Takeishi-acoustic bass guitar

Matt Wilson-drums


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UPC: 616892053361

Label: Firehouse 12 Records
Catalog ID: FH12-04-01-012-CD
Squidco Product Code: 12635

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2010
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded December 1617, 2008 at Firehouse 12 in New Haven, CT by Nick Lloyd.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Firehouse 12 Records welcomes esteemed pianist/composer Myra Melford to its roster with the release of The Whole Tree Gone, her first recording as a bandleader since 2006. Recorded in the label's own state-of-the-art studio, this is Ms. Melford's second release featuring her eclectic ensemble, Be Bread, a longstanding collection of frequent collaborators that currently performs as an all-acoustic sextet. The Whole Tree Gone documents the latest evolution of eight original compositions she has been performing with this ensemble, and others, for the past five years.

"Most of the music on this record came from a suite titled "The Whole Place Goes Up", written in the fall of 2004 with the support of a Chamber Music America grant," Ms. Melford explains in the liner notes. "'Moon Bird' was written for a concert at the MOMA Sculpture Garden (NYC) in July 2005. Though originally written for Be Bread, I've enjoyed performing this music over the past few years with many wonderful musicians in several configurations, including the multimedia project Knock on the Sky and my duo with Marty Ehrlich. My heartfelt gratitude to the musicians who've given a part of themselves to bring this music to life."-Firehouse 12



This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!

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)
2/16/2024

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

"Cuong Vu is widely recognized by jazz critics as a leader of a generation of innovative musicians.

A truly unique musical voice, Cuong has lent his trumpet playing to a wide range of artists such as Pat Metheny, Laurie Anderson, and David Bowie.

As a youngster, Cuong's intense dedication and love for music led him to a full scholarship at the New England Conservatory of Music where he received his Bachelor of Music in Jazz studies with a distinction in performance. Transitioning from his studies in Boston, he moved to New York in 1994 and began his career actively leading various groups while touring extensively throughout the world. As a leader, Cuong has released eight recordings, each making critics' lists of the 10 best recordings of their respective years and has received rave reviews from notable publications such as the New York Times, The New Yorker, Harper's, the Guardian, BBC Music Magazine, JazzTimes and Downbeat. Each record displays how he has carved out a distinctive sonic territory as a trumpet player, blurring all stylistic borders while developing his own compositional aesthetic and sound world.

A recipient of the 2 Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album as a member of the Pat Metheny Group, Vu has garnered internationally acclaim, having been recognized as one of the top 50 Jazz Artists in an article called "The New Masters" from the British magazine, "Classic CD" and has been named the Best International Jazz Artist by the Italian Jazz Critics' Society. Amazon listed Vu's "Come Play With Me" on their "The 100 Greatest Jazz Albums of All Time." Each of his recordings as a leader have been placed on esteemed jazz critics' Best Of/Top Ten releases of the year. Most recently Cuong received Europe's Echo Jazz 2017 Awards, International Instrumentalist for his work on his recording, "Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny".

Currently a professor and the chair of Jazz Studies at the University of Washington, Cuong is also a "Yamaha Performing Artist", playing the Yamaha Custom YTR8310Z trumpet."

-Cuong Vu Website (https://www.cuongvu.com/bio)
2/16/2024

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

"Brandon K. Ross is an American jazz guitarist.

Ross was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and did clerical work for Leroy Jenkins before playing with Archie Shepp and Marion Brown in the second half of the 1970s. In the 1980s he worked with Geri Allen, Charles Burnham, and Oliver Lake in an ensemble, and also worked with Butch Morris.

He has performed with Wadada Leo Smith, Gene Lake, Marcus Rojas, John Lurie, Henry Threadgill, Don Byron, Cassandra Wilson and others."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandon_Ross)
2/16/2024

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)
2/16/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Through the Same Gate 6:28

2. Moon Bird 11:02

3. Night 8:42

4. The Whole Tree Gone 8:40

5. A Generation Comes and Another Goes 8:35

6. I See a Horizon 6:14

7. On the Lip of Insanity 7:28

8. Knocking From the Inside 8:21

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
2010 Top 40
Sextet Recordings

Search for other titles on the label:
Firehouse 12 Records.


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