Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music
cover art

Myra Melford

The Image of Your Body

(Cryptogramophone; US: 26 Sep 2006; UK: 18 Sep 2006)

Myra Melford is a name we should all know. Before taking on this review, I was woefully ignorant of the avant garde jazz pianist/composer, despite the dozen albums she’s released prior to the excellent The Image of Your Body, which is co-credited to her quartet Be Bread. Along with Melford’s magnificent piano playing and fascinating Indian-inspired harmonium performances, the ensemble’s melodic duties are shared by either guitarist/banjoist Brandon Ross, or Cuong Vu on trumpet and electronics. Stomu Takeishi lends his acoustic and electric bass skills, while Elliot Humberto Kavee is a varied and sympathetic drummer. Although the entire disc is at least moderately challenging compositionally, it kicks off with “Equal Grace”, a harmonium-led track that is among the least accessible on the record. But it’s also a great work. Take it as a sign marked “buyer beware”, a gauntlet thrown, or, if you like a little hard-hitting adventure in your jazz, an invitation to an album that is artful and intelligent. And, oh yes, it definitely swings.

Rating:

Michael Keefe is a freelance music journalist, an independent bookstore publicist, and a singer/guitarist/songwriter in a band. Raised on a record collection of The Beatles, Coltrane, Mozart, and Ravi Shankar, Michael has been a slave to music his whole life. At age 16, he got a drum set and a job at a record store, and he's been playing and peddling music ever since. Today, he lives in Oregon with his wife (also a writer, but not about music), two cats, and a whole lot of instruments and CDs.


Tagged as: myra melford
Related Articles
24 Feb 2010
It's only February, but 2010 has already yielded a fistful of significant jazz releases.
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.