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Myra Melford

An exploratory, virtuosic, rhythmic, and lyrical composer and improviser, pianist Myra Melford emerged in the first ’90s among the most highly acclaimed jazz pianists of your day, and she proved worth the accolades as her diverse body of function — with an frequently strong spiritual concentrate — continued in to the 21st hundred years. Melford’s work shown her main musical mentors/affects: on piano, Don Pullen, whose percussive mannerisms she successively modified; and, like a composer, Henry Threadgill, with whom she analyzed within the middle-’80s. In early stages, Melford also professed an affinity for the blues designs she noticed and analyzed like a youngsters in Chicago (she was raised in close by Evanston, Illinois), which she integrated into her avant-garde-tinged musical sensibility. Like a youngsters, Melford analyzed boogie-woogie piano with Erwin Helfer, and she later on attended university at Evergreen Condition in Olympia, Washington, where she analyzed with pianist Artwork Lande and created a pastime in jazz. She also went to the Cornish Institute in Seattle. In 1984 she relocated to NEW YORK, where she’d play in the rings of Threadgill, violinist Leroy Jenkins, and Butch Morris, amongst others. She also researched privately with Pullen. Within the middle- to past due ’80s she performed and documented within a duo using the flutist Marion Brandis. She shaped a trio with bassist Lindsey Horner and drummer Reggie Nicholson, with which she documented a set of albums — Leap (1990) and today & Today (1991) — for the Foe label, which helped create her reputation. Extra recognition arrived using the discharge from the trio’s live outing Alive inside your home of Saints in the Swiss HatHut label in 1993. Because the ’90s advanced, Melford begun to broaden the textures and timbres open to her being a composer by shifting toward bigger groupings with different instrumentation, initial adding trumpeter Dave Douglas and reedman Marty Ehrlich to her trio lineup, using the resultant quintet debuting because the Myra Melford Expanded Ensemble in the 1995 Hatology discharge Even the Seems Shine, and forming a fresh five-piece, exactly the same River, Twice, offering Douglas, cellist Erik Friedlander, reedman Chris Rate, and drummer Michael Sarin, all significant contributors towards the decade’s NY downtown jazz picture (with Friedlander, Rate, and Sarin all users of Douglas ensembles). The group’s eponymous debut showed up on Gramavision in 1996, accompanied by the 1999 Arabesque documenting Above Blue. In the mean time, Melford made an appearance as an improvisational collaborator on a set of albums: the 1996 Hatology launch Eleven Ghosts, offering duets performed from the pianist with Dutch drummer Han Bennink; and Equivalent Curiosity, a 1999 Omnitone launch from the trio of the same name, offering Melford alongside two music artists with origins in Chicago’s AACM, violinist Jenkins and multi-reedist Joseph Jarman (Melford experienced added to the Jarman/Jenkins recording From the Mist in 1997). The second option set noticed Melford adding to the trio’s expansive sound palette on harmonium in addition to piano. Because the 2000s dawned, Melford came back to some trio file format with Crush, a music group offering her piano and harmonium backed by the drums of Kenny Wollesen and electrical bass of Stomu Takeishi, the second option an associate of Henry Threadgill’s Take action along with a contributor to numerous Melford tasks over time to arrive. Arabesque released the Crush record Dance Beyond the colour in 2000. The next season, the label released Yet Can Planting season, which discovered her solely on piano within a duet placing with her previous Extended Outfit bandmate Marty Ehrlich on alto saxophone, clarinet, and bass clarinet — Melford would go back to the duo format with Ehrlich in the Palmetto discharge Spark! in 2007. These Equal Curiosity and Crush albums uncovered Melford’s burgeoning skill in the harmonium (a kind of portable pump body organ), and in 2000 and 2001 her curiosity about the device, and in North Indian traditional, devotional, and folk music, would consider her to Calcutta on the Fulbright scholarship or grant, which financed her expenditures during nine a few months of research with harmonium virtuoso Pandit Sohanlal Sharma (who passed on in-may 2012). Ahead of her departure, Melford also portrayed a wish to explore qawwali music with Sufi music artists during her sojourn. Upon time for the Expresses, Melford resided at an upstate NY ashram, and began documenting and liberating music educated by her moves and research, you start with the 2004 Arabesque launch Where in fact the Two Worlds Contact by Myra Melford’s the Tent, influenced from the poetry of 13th hundred years Sufi mystic Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi and offering Melford on piano and harmonium alongside her Crush bandmates bassist Takeishi and drummer Wollesen, previous Same River, Double member Rate on tenor saxophone and clarinet, and Cuong Vu on trumpet. Sufi poet Rumi also influenced the music of Melford’s following recording, The Picture of YOUR SYSTEM (whose name was produced from a Rumi poem), the debut discharge by her End up being Bread ensemble documented in Dec of 2003, eight a few months after the periods for Where in fact the Two Worlds Contact occurred. Melford produced Be Loaf of bread expressly to try out music predicated on her research in India, as well as the group’s top documenting highlighted Melford on piano and harmonium alongside bassist Takeishi, trumpeter Vu, guitarist Brandon Ross, and drummer Elliot Humberto Kavee. The Picture of THE BODY had not been released until 2006 by Cryptogramophone, and in the liner records Melford explained the music’s “levels of simultaneous activity, not really unlike existence in modern-day India: a continual bombardment from the senses along with a mingling from the peace from the ancient using the hustle of today’s.” Between your documenting and launch of The Picture of THE BODY, Melford departed the East Coastline for California in 2004, receiving a posture as Associate Teacher, Improvisation and Jazz, within the Division of Music at University or college of California, Berkeley. Her fresh part in academia didn’t indication a retreat from functionality and documenting, nevertheless, as she embarked on a bunch of new tasks over the following a decade, including a go back to the piano/bass/drums trio format — but this time around within a collaborative instead of leadership function — with bassist Tag Dresser and drummer Matt Wilson in Trio M (i.e., Myra, Tag, Matt), which released THE PICTURE AS A WHOLE on Cryptogramophone in 2007 as well as the Guest Home on Enja/Yellowbird in 2012. And Chamber Music America commissioned her structure THE COMPLETE Tree Gone, highlighted in the 2010 Firehouse 12 record of the same name by End up being Bread, this time around within a sextet lineup of Melford, Takeishi, Vu, Ross, Wilson, and clarinetist Ben Goldberg. Melford in addition has continued to execute and record in duo configurations, with violinist/violist Tanya Kalmanovitch on Center Hill (Perspicacity, 2007) and in a live documenting at Berkeley’s Maybeck Recital Hall with fellow pianist Satoko Fuji on Beneath the Drinking water (Libra Information, 2009); in another duo task, ::Dialogue::, she collaborated with clarinetist Goldberg. Even though these along with other tasks have included single piano features for Melford, her 1st entirely single piano recording, Life Bears Me IN THIS MANNER, was released from the Firehouse 12 label in 2013; the recording included 11 Melford compositions influenced by drawings (reproduced within the Compact disc booklet) by Sacramento designer and family members friend Don Reich, who passed on this year 2010. In 2012 Melford produced a fresh quintet, Snowy Egret, offering bassist Takeishi, guitarist Liberty Ellman, trumpeter Ron Mls, and drummer Tyshawn Sorey, to execute her compositions motivated by Uruguayan writer, historian, and journalist Eduardo Galeano’s Memoria del Fuego (Storage of Fireplace) trilogy on the Jazz Gallery in NEW YORK. The following calendar year she received a Guggenheim Fellowship along with a Doris Duke Musician Award, the last mentioned supporting her coding activities on the Yerba Buena Middle for the Arts in SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA. On the Yerba Buena Middle in November 2013, Melford and Snowy Egret performed the group’s Galeano-inspired music in her media project Vocabulary of Dreams, which also included dance, video, and spoken term. The quintet’s eponymous debut recording premiered by Enja/Yellowbird in March of 2015.

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