(131) Glenn Astarita, EJazz News -- 10/24/06

This recent release depicts pianist Myra Melford's forward thinking musical persona. Teeming with stealthy undercurrents, ethereal treatments and resonating choruses, the pianist also fuses a polytonal world-beat vibe into jazzy intonations. A divergent affair, Melford and her quintet paint a multihued framework throughout this acoustic-electric session.

She picks up the harmonium in spots, as Middle Eastern modalities merge with a slanted spin on Americana, where guitarist Brandon Ross switches to banjo on "Be Bread." Otherwise, the musicians' tight-knit and sinuous unison lines are counterbalanced by a loose-groove mindset, often executed with flourishing crescendos and emphatic soloing maneuvers. Moreover, Ross' angular and distortion-based single note flurries inject a sense of wonderment during the piece titled "To The Roof."

With some genre-hopping to complement trumpeter Cuong Vu's steamy phrasings and other elements, Melford continues to hone her distinctive jazz-oriented vernacular. It's a superfine effort, indeed. . .

Glenn Astarita
EJazz News