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Melford's, Myra Fire And Water Quintet: For The Love Of Fire And Water (RogueArt)

Few quintets deserve the designation of super-group more than pianist Myra Melford's quintet with Mary Halvorson on guitar, Ingrid Laubrock on tenor & soprano saxophones, Tomeka Reid on cello and Susie Ibarra on drums & percussion, performing Melford's wonderfully inventive 10-part composition.
 

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Personnel:



Myra Melford-piano, melodica

Mary Halvorson-guitar

Ingrid Laubrock-tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone

Tomeka Reid-cello

Susie Ibarra-drums, percussion


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UPC: 3760131271195

Label: RogueArt
Catalog ID: ROG-0119
Squidco Product Code: 31705

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: France
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel
Recorded at Firehouse 12, in New Haven, Connecticut, on July 20th and 21st, 2021, by Nick Lloyd and Greg DiCrosta.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"In the world of improvised music, so-called supergroups sometimes feel almost quotidien. After all, there are so many remarkable artists in the space and understandably, they often want to collaborate. Yet the group that acclaimed pianist and composer Myra Melford has assembled here - with Mary Halvorson on guitar, Ingrid Laubrock on soprano and tenor saxophone, Tomeka Reid on cello and Susie Ibarra on drums and percussion - invigorates that tired cliche? with fresh meaning. Each has an impressive catalog as a bandleader and collaborator, and Melford had worked with all of them previously, but never together. The result is a gathering of some of the most compelling improvisers working today."-Natalie Weiner



"Pianist and composer Myra Melford's name is up front but a glance at the personnel here suggests an ensemble of highly accomplished equals, and their recorded offering meets the expectation.

Past collaborations with each of them led to Melford bringing Ingrid Laubrock (saxophones) Tomeka Reid (cello), Susie Ibarra (drums and percussion) and Mary Halvorson (guitar) together for a live project in New York in 2019. Now, after the usual Covid hiatus, they resurface with a ten-part suite inspired partly by visual artist Cy Twombly. The pictures aren't directly referenced: Melford cites his influence on a "gestural" approach to improvisation, but the varied musical offerings here are a sort of mainstream modern improv, if that makes sense. Free passages, usually with two or three of the players but here and there the full ensemble, are mixed with written figures, even occasional unison lines; carefree dissonance with regular tonality. Rhythm is mostly textural, although the low end of Melford's piano holds down a more emphatic beat when she feels the need.

The free exchanges have a notably considered, and considerate quality - a courteous conversation that occasionally bursts into more heated cross-talk. Reid's cello can be birdlike, or more richly flowing. The piano deals in flurries of notes in the higher register but more often offers more stately phrases in the bass. Ibarra's beautifully tuned percussion is subtly braided into the weave and Halvorsen's low-fi, crunch of dry leaves guitar sound provides another essential thread. Laubrock's saxophone sound is rounder and she shares the leader's skill in navigating adroitly between more conventionally calm waters and places where wilder waves break.

These are all strong players, much given to gleefully tangential excursions. That makes ensemble playing a delicate business: five people being tangential at the same time may generate an ugly tangle as well as spontaneous beauty. But the five ensure the latter predominates, all coming with the requisite quantities of skill, mutual sympathy, lightning reflexes and sensitive listening to keep things on the ever-enticing border between order and chaos.

It's all thoroughly absorbing, and by the time you get to Part 10's lyrical finale it's clear this is a fine calling card for - alright, I'll yield to temptation - a bit of a supergroup. Melford has plans to develop more music for this ensemble for future recording, and no doubt these pieces will also fructify in live performance. They are in the UK in a few weeks: a visit to look forward to."-Jon Turney, London Jazz News


Get additional information at London Jazz News

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)
4/10/2024

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

"One of improvised music's most in-demand guitarists, Mary Halvorson has been active in New York since 2002, following jazz studies at Wesleyan University and the New School. Critics have called her "a singular talent" (Lloyd Sachs, JazzTimes), "NYC's least-predictable improviser" (Howard Mandel, City Arts), "one of the most exciting and original guitarists in jazz-or otherwise" (Steve Dollar, Wall Street Journal), and "one of today's most formidable bandleaders" (Francis Davis, Village Voice). The Philadelphia City Paper's Shaun Brady adds, "Halvorson has been steadily reshaping the sound of jazz guitar in recent years with her elastic, sometimes-fluid, sometimes-shredding, wholly unique style."

After three years of study with visionary composer and saxophonist Anthony Braxton, Ms. Halvorson became an active member of several of his bands, including his trio, septet and 12+1tet. To date, she appears on six of Mr. Braxton's recordings. Ms. Halvorson has also performed alongside iconic guitarist Marc Ribot, in his bands Sun Ship and The Young Philadelphians, and with the bassist Trevor Dunn in his Trio-Convulsant. Over the past decade she has worked with such diverse bandleaders as Tim Berne, Taylor Ho Bynum, Tomas Fujiwara, Ingrid Laubrock, Myra Melford, Jason Moran, Joe Morris, Tom Rainey and Mike Reed.

As a bandleader and composer, one of Ms. Halvorson's primary outlets is her longstanding trio, featuring bassist John Hébert and drummer Ches Smith. Since their 2008 debut album, Dragon's Head, the band has been recognized as a rising star jazz band by Downbeat Magazine for five consecutive years. Ms. Halvorson's quintet, which adds trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon to the trio, has released two critically acclaimed albums on the Firehouse 12 label: Saturn Sings and Bending Bridges. Most recently she has added two additional band members-tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and trombonist Jacob Garchik-to form a septet, featured on her 2013 release Illusionary Sea. Ms. Halvorson also co-leads a longstanding chamber-jazz duo with violist Jessica Pavone, the avant-rock band People and the collective ensembles Thumbscrew and Secret Keeper."

-Mary Halvorson Website (http://www.maryhalvorson.com/bio/)
4/10/2024

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

"Originally from Germany, Ingrid Laubrock resides in Brooklyn, NY. Between 1989 and 2009 she was active as a saxophonist and composer in London/UK. She performed and/or recorded with: Anthony Braxton, Dave Douglas, Kenny Wheeler, Jason Moran, Tim Berne, William Parker, Tom Rainey, Mary Halvorson, Kris Davis, Tyshawn Sorey, Craig Taborn, Luc Ex, Django Bates' Human Chain, The Continuum Ensemble and many others.

Ingrid's current projects as a leader are Anti-House, Sleepthief, Ingrid Laubrock Orchestra, Ingrid Laubrock Sextet and Ubatuba. Collaborations include LARK,Haste,Paradoxical Frog and Ingrid Laubrock/Tom Rainey Duo.She is a member of Anthony Braxton's Falling River Music Quartet, Nonet and 12+1tet, Tom Rainey Trio and Obbligato, Andrew Drury's Content Provider, Mary Halvorson Septet, Kris' Davis Quintet, Nate Wooley's Battle Pieces and Luc Ex' Assemblée. Ingrid was one of the featured soloists in Anthony Braxton's opera Trillium J.

Awards include the BBC Jazz Award for Innovation in 2004, a Fellowship in Jazz Composition by the Arts Foundation in 2006, the 2009 SWR German Radio Jazz Prize and the 2014 German Record Critics Quarterly Award. Commissions include Jammy Dodgers for jazz quintet and dancers (2006), Nonet music for Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2007, SWR New Jazz Meeting 2011 and "Vogelfrei", a piece for chamber orchestra (ACO/Tricentric Foundation). She won Rising Star/soprano saxophone in the 2015 in the 'Downbeat Annual Critics Poll and won the 'El Intruso Critics Poll for tenor saxophone in 2013. Ingrid was Improviser in Residence 2012 in the German city Moers. The post is created to introduce creative music into the city throughout the year. As part of this she led a regular improvisation ensemble and taught sound workshops in elementary schools. Other teaching experiences include improvisation workshops at Towson University, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Baruch College, University of Michigan, University of Newcastle and many others."

-Ingrid Laubrock Website (http://ingridlaubrock.com/about.html)
4/10/2024

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

"Chicago based cellist, composer and educator, Tomeka Reid has been described as "a remarkably versatile player," (Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune). Equally adept in classical and jazz contexts, Ms. Reid predominantly finds herself in experimental and improvisatory settings and composes for a wide range of instrumentation, from big band to chamber ensemble. Ms. Reid's music combines her love for groove along with freer concepts.

Ms. Reid is an integral part of Dee Alexander's Evolution Ensemble, Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble/Strings, Mike Reed's Loose Assembly, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) Great Black Music Ensemble, and co-leads the internationally recognized string trio, Hear in Now with performances in Poznan, Poland; Paris, France; Rome, Venice, Milan, Italy; Soazza, Switzerland; and in the US: Chicago, New York and Vermont. In addition to the aforementioned ensembles, Ms. Reid performs with many of today's forward thinking musicians in the world of jazz and creative music including Anthony Braxton, George Lewis, Roscoe Mitchell, Jeb Bishop, Myra Melford, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Mary Halvorson, Denis Fournier, Edward Wilkerson and Harrison Bankhead. Ms. Reid also leads her own trio featuring guitarist Matt Schneider and bassist Josh Abrams, for which she composes. Ms. Reid can be heard on numerous studio recordings.

As an educator, Ms. Reid has led string improvisation workshops in Italy and the US. Most recently she co-directed the 2012 Vancouver Jazz Festival’s High School Jazz Intensive. For seven years, Ms. Reid co-directed the string program at the University of Chicago’s Laboratory School for students grade 5 thru 12. Ms. Reid is also an ABD doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois: Urbana-Champaign.

As a composer, Ms. Reid has been commissioned by the AACM, the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and has had several opportunities to showcase her work abroad at festivals such as Umbria Jazz, An Insolent Noise and Vignola Jazz. She has been nominated and awarded residencies for composition with the Ragdale Foundation and the 2nd Annual Make Jazz Fellowship hosted by the 18th Street Arts Organization. Ms. Reid was selected as a 2012 participant in the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute held at the University of California: Los Angeles."

-Tomeka Reid Website (http://www.tomekareid.net/)
4/10/2024

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

"Susie Ibarra is a Filipina-American composer, percussionist, and sound artist. Her sound has been described as "a sound like no other's, incorporating the unique percussion and musical approach of her Filipino heritage with her flowing jazz drumset style" (Modern Drummer Magazine) and her compositions are sometimes described as "calling up the movements of the human body; elsewhere it's a landscape vanishing in the last light, or the path a waterway might trace" (New York Times). Recent commissions include Kronos String Quartet's 50 for the Future Project Pulsation, PRISM Saxophone Quartet + Percussion's Procession Along the Aciga Tree, Talking Gong trio with pianist Alex Peh and flautist Claire Chase, film score When the Storm Fades directed by Sean Devlin, and a multimedia game piece Fragility: An Exploration of Polyrhythms for Asia Society.

Susie Ibarra is a 2019 United States Artist Fellow in Music . She is a Senior TED Fellow and a 2018 Asian Cultural Council Fellow in support of her sound research of An Acoustic Story on Climate Change: Himalayan Glacier Soundscapes. She is recording and researching sound along the Ganges from source to sink in collaboration with glaciologist and geomorphologist Michele Koppes. Ibarra leads the DreamTime Ensemble, which recently released the album Perception, a suite of music exploring memory and shifting sensory experiences. She performs in collaborative ensembles Mephista, Yunohana Variations, and LIMBS. With ThinkFun Games, Ibarra is inventing an interactive polyrhythm game to teach rhythms. Since 2012, she has been a faculty member at Bennington College where she teaches percussion, performance, improvisation, and art intervention. Susie Ibarra is a Yamaha, Vic Firth, and Paiste Drum Artist."

-Susie Ibarra Website (https://www.susieibarra.com/about/)
4/10/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. I 7:53

2. II 2:11

3. III 3:17

4. IV 5:21

5. V 2:40

6. VI 4:26

7. VII 6:25

8. VIII 2:56

9. IX 4:16

10. X 4:50

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Quintet Recordings
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